Image: Mary, Mother of the Church
Today we come together for a special prayer for these most unusual times. In some ways, during these morning Masses, we have been trying to carry on as normal or a least as normal as can be. Perhaps it has been for a brief half hour each day when we do not have to hear the news about Pandemic or have one more conversation about when we can stop being isolated from one another. But today, in our liturgy we turn explicitly to that topic because our faith not only brings us comfort, it offers a real source of strength for us and offers true healing for the world. Today we call upon those resources and in a special way call upon the protection of Mary, the Mother of the Church and consecrate ourselves, our diocese and our nation to her protection during this time of Pandemic.
Now, to be clear, as baptized people, we are already consecrated. Through water we have been brought into the family of God and by the gift of the Holy Spirit we have been anointed as priest, prophet and king. We can not add to that but only seek to renew that in ourselves which God has already so generously given to us and to live out that high calling in our daily lives.
To this end, Mary becomes a great example to us as she is the model of holiness. More than anyone else she was attentive to God and in her vocation to be called the mother of Jesus she answered with a resounding “Yes” to God’s word in her life. Added to that, we read in our Gospel today that while on the cross Jesus saw the great need of his disciple who were going be left alone and gave his mother to them as their mother and in doing so gave her to us, the Church, as our mother.
To be consecrated to Mary, then, is to be entrusting of that divine gift of maternal protection. We believe that Mary hears our prayers and she intercedes for us to her Son. Like any loving mother would, she showers us with her blessings and grace. Through Mary’s constant care we are led in our weakness always closer to her Son whom she never ceases to extoll.
We are in a time of great turmoil and hardship. With so many longing for help and desiring to see life get back to normal, the act of consecrating ourselves again to the care and protection of God through the Blessed Virgin Mary is our way of saying that, now more than ever, we need God’s help and we want to be a part of God’s plan for the world. We are saying that in the midst of Pandemic we want to grow in holiness and to be active participants in the building of the Kingdom. We will not sit by idly and wait for this to be over, but through the intercession of Mary and the help of God we will engage ourselves in bringing goodness and light to an otherwise bleak situation.
With Mary’s help we pray that these days of great social upheaval and change will be an opportunity for a new outlook of hope and joy be born in the hearts of all believers.