Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major
Malvern Minute

 

Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major

August 5, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Book of Revelation 21:1-5A

Psalm (JDT) 13-18BCDE, 19

Luke 11:27-28

 

Today we celebrate the feast of a church building; a very old and venerable church building.  It is the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome and is one of the four major basilicas in the holy city.  It might seem strange to us that we dedicate an important feast day in our Church to a building, especially since the emphasis after the Second Vatican Council has been about how the Church is “more than a building, rather, how the people are the Church.”  Yet, this basilica is an important center of worship of our faith, and its dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary tells us a lot about our faith as well.

The Basilica of Saint Mary Major dates back to the 4th century, with the current building dating from the 5th century, right after the Council of Ephesus declared Our Blessed Mother Mary to be the “Theotokos,” or “God bearer, the Mother of God.”

Today’s very brief Gospel narrative may appear a bit puzzling to us at first glance.  Someone shouts out from the crowd, praising Jesus mother for having bore Him, but Jesus states that what is more important than being biologically connected to Him is that we truly are listening to the Word of God and try to follow it in our lives.  Our Lord is not trying to disrespect His mother but rather He is trying to tell us what is most important is our faith and in the eyes of God.

We must not forget that not only can the Virgin Mary be seen as the first disciple, but that she never points to herself or receives honor on her own behalf, but instead she always points us toward her Son, she always tries to draw us closer to Him, Jesus, Our Risen Blessed Lord.

As Catholic Christians, as we honor Mary, as we honor the Mother Church in Rome, as we honor our own home parishes, we all grow closer to our faith and gain in our understanding of Mary as the Mother of God, our Mother, and the Mother of our Church.

Question of the Day:  How will you honor Mary, Mother of our Lord, in your home and in our world? 

Prayer:  “Holy Mary, help those in need, give strength to the weak, comfort the sorrowful, pray for God’s people, assist the clergy, intercede for religious.  Mary all who seek your help experience your unfailing protection.  Amen.”  (Mary, Help of Those in Need.)

Please continue t pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.

Prosit

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