On Calvary, when the Lord told Mary, “Woman, behold your son!” and his beloved disciple, “Behold your mother!” (see John 19:26-27) Mary didn’t just become the mother of St. John the Evangelist (believed to be the “disciple” described in his Gospel); she became the mother of all believers. The Second Vatican Council would later describe Mary as our mother “in the order of grace”:
This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and [difficulties], until they are led into the happiness of their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix. This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator (Lumen Gentium, 62).
The Heavenly Father has adopted us through Baptism, making Our Lord our big brother and Mary our Mother. From the moment Mary accepted the invitation to become the Mother of God (at the Annunciation) she has never stopped watching over us, Our Lord’s “brothers and sisters,” with maternal love. She still does from Heaven, continuing to work with her firstborn son, Our Lord, until we all make it to our heavenly home.
Let’s give our mother in the order of grace the honor she deserves today.
Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20; Psalm 87:1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7; John 19:25-34.