Reflection 5: “Mary’s Motherhood”
Encyclical Redemptoris Mater “Mother of the Redeemer”
Encyclical Reflection 1
Mary’s maternal love ‘cooperates’ with our salvation.
Redemptoris Mater, 44
“Given Mary’s relationship to the Church as an exemplar, the Church is close to her and seeks to become like her: “Imitating the Mother of her Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she preserves with virginal purity an integral faith, a firm hope, and a sincere charity.”127 Mary is thus present in the mystery of the Church as a model. But the Church’s mystery also consists in generating people to a new and immortal life: this is her motherhood in the Holy Spirit. And here Mary is not only the model and figure of the Church; she is much more. For, “with maternal love she cooperates in the birth and development” of the sons and daughters of Mother Church. The Church’s motherhood is accomplished not only according to the model and figure of the Mother of God but also with her “cooperation.”
“Woman, behold your son” and to the disciple: “Behold your mother” (Jn. 19:26-27). These words speak directly to Mary’s place in our lives as Christ’s disciples. They express a new kind of motherhood for us, the Mother of the Redeemer. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, have you acknowledged Mary as your spiritual Mother?
Pray, Mary, I entrust my life to you as my spiritual Mother.