Mothers and Mary – Model For Us As Church

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Formation, Reflections

Last week I looked at some ways mothers shape us.


  • Provide a holding place for everyone’s feelings
  • Teach us how to function as adults
  • Support us with our dreams

I especially focused on how Mary made sense of her life by “keeping” the good and the painful things that she experienced as Mother of Jesus and “pondering” both in the light of her faith.

This week let’s look at how Mary modeled living life as Church

My mother always…

Mothers also model living life. Who among us does not recognize that, while not perfect, they become models for our life?

My mother always said… Certainly, with their words, they taught us many things.

My mother always did… But actions speak louder than words. I am willing to bet you adopted many of her ways of doing and looking at things. Perhaps most of what she taught came from observing her.

So let’s listen to what Mary says.. and observe what she does.

Mary as our mother as church today

What does Mary as Mother of the Church model for us? Many things! But especially what I like to call, a ministry of presence… something mothers are expert in!

Bishop Barbarito of Palm Beach offers this summary of Mary’s “ministry of presence”. Each sentence needs to be unpacked in terms of how Mary models how to be present to the Body of Christ today.

The presence of Mary at events in the ministry of the Lord is also affirmed by the Gospels telling us that people with whom Jesus was speaking told Him on occasions that his Mother was there (cf Matt 12:46-50; Mk 3:31–35; Lk 8:18-21).


As we reflect upon so many other incidents in the life of Jesus, such as His baptism, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the Sermon on the Mount, His Ascension, and countless others, we cannot discount Mary’s possible presence, and I often wondered what her support and influence at them could imply.


St. Pope John Paul II frequently spoke of the presence of Mary at the Last Supper, not in terms of Her physically being at the table, but in terms of her being present since the Body and Blood of the Lord which He gave us on that occasion was from the body and blood of Mary.

He continues

Mary’s presence at events in the life of the Lord can be a support for us in better understanding the message of Christ and in discerning His indwelling within us and us in Him as paramount in our spiritual lives.


After the Resurrection of Christ, Mary could have very well been the focal point for the apostles. She held them together in a unique manner before the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost. While they were still frightened and insecure before the coming of the Spirit, it was Mary who encouraged them and even brought them together.


She perfectly understood the message of her Son as well as the full meaning of His Cross and Resurrection.  She handed onto them what she treasured in her heart during the life and ministry of Jesus.

We believe we are the body of Christ TODAY. Mary models for us how to be present to the Body of Christ in both the joyful and painful experiences Christ experiences in us as church, his Body TODAY.

PS Next week, the third and final reflection on Mary – Mother of the Church. How Mary sings in harmony with God’s plan. Her song, the Magnificat, has been banned by dictators around the world.

Originally posted on Vincentian Mindwalk