BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH
Genesis, Chapter 3, verse 8-10:
8 When they heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 The LORD God then called to the man and asked him: Where are you? 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.”
Before the fall both Adam and Eve were unafraid of being exposed to God and they were innocent in that they knew not that they were naked. Adam states I heard the sound of you in the garden. We do not know what the sound of God is from the verse. Was it the same sound as a man walking in the garden? Or was it the sound of a rushing wind? We do not know; but Adam heard God and he was afraid because he was naked. On the cross our Lord who always heard the Father was now utterly alone, …And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' and he was also naked nailed to a tree. Tradition states that our Lord’s cross rested on the skull of Adam in payment for the fall. Our Lord paid the ultimate price for our sins. Christ on the cross reversed the taking of the fruit and the eating by Adam and Eve and became the fruit of life. Christ on the cross reversed the nakedness of Adam and Eve by being naked himself. Christ on the cross no longer heard the Father and He was afraid. The greatest fear is a world without the Father. Christ brought us at a great price to bring us back to the Father. We need not fear for God is now in us through the accomplishment of the Holy Spirit. We must listen to His voice and follow Him.
The Law of Influence
Eve had no leadership role; no title yet she had influence. Everyone regardless of their roles is important and generates influence either positive or negative. Eve demonstrated the impact of negative influence. Although God commissioned Adam as her spiritual leader, Eve usurped the role of Adam, who followed his wife rather than God and together they led humankind into sin.
FILLED with joy over the gracious descent of the Holy Ghost, the Church sings, at the Introit of the Mass, He fed them with the fat of wheat, alleluia, and filled them with honey out of the rock, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice to God, our helper, sing aloud to the God of Jacob (Ps. Ixxx.).
Prayer. O God, Who didst give the Holy Spirit to Thy apostles, grant to Thy people the effect of their pious prayers, that on those to whom Thou hast given grace, Thou mayest also bestow peace.
EPISTLE. Acts x. 34, 43-48.
In those days Peter, opening his mouth, said: Men, brethren, the Lord commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He Who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead. To Him all the prophets give testimony, that by His name all receive remission of sins, who believe in Him. While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word. And the faithful of the circumcision, who came with Peter, were astonished, for that the grace of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the gentiles also. For they heard them speaking with tongues, and magnifying God. Then Peter answered: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
GOSPEL. John iii. 16-21.
By what has God most shown the greatness of His love? By giving up His only begotten Son to the most painful and ignominious death, that we, the guilty, might be delivered from eternal death, and have life everlasting.
If, then, so many are lost, is it the fault of God? No: as the physician gives up only the incurable, so God condemns only those who believe not in Christ as their Saviour and God ; who love darkness, that is, the principles and works which correspond to their corrupt inclinations; who despise Jesus, the light of the world, and His doctrines; who neglect the divine service, the public instructions, and the reception of the holy sacraments; who take this licentious life for wisdom and enlightenment; who refuse to be taught, and have pronounced their own condemnation, even before the final judgment.
Why should we love God? Because He has loved us from eternity: He loved us when as, yet we were not. If we love him who does us some good, who helps us in need, or exposes himself to danger for our sake, how much more should we love Him Who has given us all that we have: the angels to be our guards, the sun, moon, and stars to be our light ; the earth to be our dwelling-place; the elements, plants, and animals to supply our necessary wants, and to serve for our advantage and enjoyment; Who continually preserves us and protects us from countless dangers ; Who has subjected Himself for our sake, not merely to the danger of His life, but to the most painful and humiliating death; Who for gives all our sins, heals all our infirmities, redeems our life from destruction, and crowns us with compassion and mercy.
As both the Bible and Church Fathers attest, there are several distinct periods of sacred history. These periods arise, are given their own set of dispensations, and then disappear. The age before the Law was replaced by the age under it, and that age, in turn, was closed during the time that Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth. Likewise, the age of divine revelation (which ended at the death of the last Apostle) gave way to a different era, the era immediately preceding the Second Coming. It is that era in which we now find ourselves. Despite the expanse of two thousand years and the plethora of cultural and technological changes that separate us from the Christians who outlived the Beloved Disciple, we are still living in the same age as they, the last age of mankind.
Mary, Mother of the Church
By issuing the Decree on the celebration of the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, Pope Francis wishes to promote this devotion in order to “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety”.
· The decree reflects on the history of Marian theology in the Church’s liturgical tradition and the writings of the Church Fathers.
· It says Saint Augustine and Pope Saint Leo the Great both reflected on the Virgin Mary’s importance in the mystery of Christ.
o “In fact the former [St. Augustine] says that Mary is the mother of the members of Christ, because with charity she cooperated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church, while the latter [St. Leo the Great] says that the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, thus indicating that Mary is at once Mother of Christ, the Son of God, and mother of the members of his Mystical Body, which is the Church.”
· The decree says these reflections are a result of the “divine motherhood of Mary and from her intimate union in the work of the Redeemer”.
· Scripture, the decree says, depicts Mary at the foot of the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25). There she became the Mother of the Church when she “accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal.”
In 1964, the decree says, Pope Paul VI “declared the Blessed Virgin Mary as ‘Mother of the Church, that is to say of all Christian people, the faithful as well as the pastors, who call her the most loving Mother’ and established that ‘the Mother of God should be further honoured and invoked by the entire Christian people by this tenderest of titles’”
· 90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 29
John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
 Goffine’s Devout Instruction’s, 1896.
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