featured image

Monica Korzec discusses how Mary's faithfulness, motherhood, sacrifice, prayer, and spirituality are a model for the Church.

Mary's role in the plan of salvation is God's blueprint, which helps humankind enter into the Church's mystery. For the last 2000 years, Mary has reflected God's love in such a way that it helps contemporary men and women understand (to some degree) this mystery. Mary's faithfulness, motherhood, sacrifice, prayer, and spirituality model for us the Church that Christ has left.  

In the Gospel of John, Mary is present at the beginning and at the end of Jesus' public ministry. She is present as his mother and referred to as “Woman.” She is the new Eve. At the wedding at Cana, obediently, she intercedes for the people, which reverses the disobedience of Eve in the Garden of Eden.  

Mary's faith leads others to their faith. Her faith results in Jesus' first public miracle, where His glory is manifested. This miracle is an image of the future Church where Christ is the Groom and the Church is the Bride. As such, the Church receives a “female” identity. Therefore, at Cana, we see Mary as the one who represents the Church which is still in the prenatal stage. This is the Marian profile of the Church, where at the foot of the cross, Mary's Yes fulfills the Redemptive mission of Incarnation. It precedes the Petrine Church in which Peter and the Apostles begin the proclamation of the Good News.  




The Blessed Virgin is an example of obedience in which faith can flourish. When she hears the news that the Archangel Gabriel brings, she ponders on this mystery; as such, she is already accepting the idea of Jesus before He is even born. She does not fully understand how her Fiat will change her life and the history of the world, but she is full of faith that fulfilling God's will is what she is striving for.  

Therefore, for us living today, this great lesson teaches us that we are invited to listen to and ponder the Word of God. We can do it daily, in a private meditative/contemplative prayer, or we can embrace the Word of God at Mass. At the wedding at Cana, Mary said, "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5), and she has the same message for us today: read the Word of God, listen to it. The Living Word will change your mind and heart, so do what it says, and you will fulfill God's will for your life. 

Mary's motherhood is also unique in its nature. She not only gives physical birth to the Son of God and takes care of the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of her Son, but she also gives birth to the Church of Christ. The birth in Bethlehem, the house of bread, is a symbol of life which is contrasted with Calvary, the place of the skull, which is associated with death. The life of the Church comes through the experience of death. 

Similarly, the Church, just like Mary, allows for a new birth, a birth in which the water of Baptism incorporates the newly baptized into the Body of Christ, in which a person's soul will be fed with the Bread of Life: Jesus Himself. Just like Mary took care of her Son, the Church takes care of its children through the sacraments of initiation, healing, and vocation or service.  




Motherhood is not something that is defined once and forever and is the same for everyone. True motherhood recognizes the uniqueness of each child, copes with challenges, and strives to love perfectly. And Mary is a perfect example of what it means to accept the unknown and the mystery of the new life that is entrusted to her. 

Motherhood is never separated from some form of sacrifice. Mary fully experienced the meaning of sacrifice. Right at the beginning of Jesus's life, Simeon revealed to her that a sword would pierce her soul, and right at the end of Jesus's life, at the foot of the cross, this prophecy was fulfilled. The fruit of her womb, the Son of God, reconciled the world to God through a perfect sacrifice of Himself.  

Today, the Church, in the Mass, offers Christ to the Father. This unbloody sacrifice is offered in union with the Mother of God. When Marian hymns are sung at the Offertory, a unique connection is made to the offering that Mary made of her life. 


Click to tweet:
Mary is a perfect example of what it means to accept the unknown and the mystery of the new life that is entrusted to her. #CatholicMom


Finally, Mother Mary is an example of prayer and spiritual life. A genuine prayer results in an authentic relationship with God where the fulfillment of God's will becomes a priority. In her Fiat (Luke 1:38), Mary clearly stated that she is the handmaid of the Lord who wants to do everything according to God's word. 

In this respect, the Church is like Mary when it strives to bring the message of salvation to every part of the world, just as Jesus instructed us to do. Just before ascending to Heaven, Jesus commissioned His newly born Church to go and make disciples by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).  

Mary, who is a mystery herself, is a path to the Mystery of the Trinity that the Church willingly walks on by recognizing her role in God's will for humankind. 



Copyright 2023 Monika Korzec
Images: Canva