Monday, April 11, 2011

Mary, Woman of the Eucharist

Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical "Ecclesia de Eucharistia" called Mary, the Woman of the Eucharist.  "The Church, which looks to Mary as a model, is also called to imitate her in her relationship with this most holy mystery.”  He also reminded us that among the Mysteries of Light of the Rosary, he included the institution of the Eucharist. Mary can guide us towards this most holy sacrament, because she herself has a profound relationship with it.

He goes on to tell us that Mary lived her Eucharistic faith even before the Institution of the Eucharist. She conceived the Son of God in her womb physically, and thus anticipated “within herself what to some degree happens sacramentally in every believer who receives, under the signs of bread and wine, the Lord's body and blood.” (55)

He spoke about the analogy between Mary's Fiat and the Amen, we pronounce at the reception of Holy Communion. We are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Mary, becomes fully present body, blood, soul and divinity under the signs of bread and wine.

Mary anticipated in the mystery of the incarnation, the Church's Eucharistic faith. “In her daily preparation for Calvary, Mary experienced a kind of “anticipated Eucharist” – one might say a “spiritual communion” – of desire and of oblation, which would culminate in her union with her Son in his passion, and then find expression after Easter by her partaking in the Eucharist which the Apostles celebrated as the memorial of that passion.”

Let us ask Mary to help us prepare for the coming of Our Lord into our hearts each time that we receive Holy Communion.  To share in her faith, love and reverence for this special time of union with Christ.

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