Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mary and the Eucharist -- I really love Bl. JP2's insights

The intimacy between Jesus and Mary cannot be underestimated, and Blessed John Paul's meditation on Mary's "eucharistic" faith is one worth pondering. My latest over at Patheos is a second look at some highlights from the late pontiff's last encyclical, and it's final chapter describing Mary as a woman of the Eucharist.

Here's a bit:

John Paul’s encyclical recalls Mary as a human person who was intimately acquainted with the Son of God, as both his Mother, and as a his first disciple. In her personal “yes” to the Father, who announces the Good News of Christ’s coming into the world through her, we also intuit, how Christ to comes us, miraculously, through the Eucharist.
 [T]here is a profound analogy between the Fiat which Mary said in reply to the angel,   and the Amen which every believer says when receiving the body of the Lord. Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived “through the Holy Spirit” was “the Son of God” (Lk 1:30-35). In continuity with the Virgin's faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine. ”(Ecclesia de Eucharistia, par. 55.)
Mary first received Christ in her heart by her “yes”, and then conceived Christ in her womb by God’s holy action. Referring to this miraculous indwelling of Christ in Mary, Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, would acclaim Mary as the first tabernacle in history: “Blessed is she who believed! (Lk 1:45)”
Indeed, blessed are we, too, in the precious moments following a holy Communion, becoming sanctuaries that harbor the Sacred Host that is Jesus. Our preparation beforehand and outlook after receiving him must imitate Mary’s.
And is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion? ” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, par. 55.)
 Don’t be fooled into thinking these descriptions are just lofty platitudes of Mary’s faith. John Paul describes a remarkably empowered person. Her times of suffering portend the highest heroic virtue. 
Read it all.

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