But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"He said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate."
Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent tricked me, and I ate." The Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel."
The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
or: 1st Reading: Acts 1:12-14.
Our Lady with the apostles and other disciples in prayer, before Pentecost
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.
The Lord loves his foundation upon the holy mountains
The gates of Zion more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you, O city of God! (R./)
Of Zion they shall say:
One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High Lord. (R./)
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
Yes, this man was born there.
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
My home is within you. (R./)
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved,
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, "I thirst."
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
"It is finished."
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately Blood and water flowed out.
The title "Mother of the Church" (Mater Ecclesiae) was applied to the mother of Jesus by Pope Paul VI in November 1964 at the close of the Second Vatican Council. The title was first used in the 4th century by Saint Ambrose of Milan and more recently the title was favoured by Pope John Paul II and then incorporated into the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
It is closely linked to Mary's being at the heart of that prayerful group of apostles and disciples in the upper room, awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14). Specifically, her maternal role towards Christ's faithful is founded on the words spoken by Jesus from the cross to the Beloved Disciple, who represents all future disciples: Behold your mother [John 19:27]. As John Paul II wrote: "In her new motherhood in the Spirit, Mary embraces each and every one in the Church, and embraces each and every one through the Church." In March 2018, Pope Francis inserted into the Roman Calendar the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, to be celebrated each year on the Monday after Pentecost.
"The Church is feminine," Pope Francis said, "she is a mother." When this trait is lacking, he added, the Church is merely like a charitable organization, or a football team. A too masculine Church, he said, becomes "a church of old bachelors,incapable of love, incapable of fruitfulness." The Pope assigned the feast to the Monday immediately following Pentecost, "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."
Fr. John Nepil wrote: "You can't have Mary without the Church, nor the Church without Mary. They exist in such an intimate and mutual relationship that one cannot be fully understood without the other. We see clearly enough in our present day what happens when they are separated: Mary, too much elevated, loses her humanity and begins to appear as a quasi-fourth-person of the Trinity; alternatively, the Church, too much reduced, loses her divine foundation and appears as an exclusively male-run institution. This is far from the vision of the early Church, where Mary and the Church were viewed together in a single reality - the New Eve.
Jesus Christ, the New Adam and the spiritual father of all mankind, fittingly chose a New Eve to be his helpmate and the true spiritual mother of mankind. This New Eve has two forms: the personal form of Mary and the collective form of the Church. But Mary precedes, being the Church in seed-form before Pentecost. She alone was given the singular grace of her Immaculate Conception in order to take on the unique role as the Mother of God. She stands at the foot of the Cross as the Church, but also more than the Church; for she personally participates in her Son's redemption and his foundation of the Church. At Pentecost, Mary's mediating maternity becomes the heart of the Church, permeating it with an all-encompassing Marian character. She is the Church's mother, and in her, the Church is mother.