Role of Our Lady in Each Mass
by Theologian Father William G. Most
Since Vatican II said (On Liturgy §10) that the Mass is the renewal of
the new covenant, and since the Council of Trent
(DS 1743) said the Mass is the same
as Calvary, only the manner
or offering being changed, therefore we would
expect her to have
a role in the Mass
parallel to that which she
had on Calvary.
Pope John XXIII in a
radio message to the 16th Eucharistic Congress of Italy on September 13, 1959, (AAS 51.713) said he
hoped all would grow in their fervor and veneration for the Blessed Virgin, "the
Mother of the Mystical Body, of which the Eucharist is the symbol and vital center."
And he added: "We trust that they will
imitate in her the most perfect model of union with Jesus our Head; we trust that they
will join Mary in the offering of the Divine Victim."
Pope John Paul II in an address in Saint
Peter's square (Sunday February 12, 1984
(from English edition of Osservatore Romano, February
20, 1984, p. 10) said: "Today I wish to
dwell with you on the Blessed Virgin's presence in the celebration of the Liturgy....
Every liturgical action... is an occasion of communion... and in a particular way with
Mary... Because the Liturgy is the action of Christ and of the Church... she is inseparable from one and
the other.... Mary is present in the memorial - the liturgical action - because she was
present at the saving event.... She is at every altar where the memorial of the
passion and Resurrection is celebrated, because she was present, faithful with her whole
being to the Father's plan, at the historic salvific occasion of Christ's death."
The Theotokos of the Sign
(The Flesh and Blood we receive in the Eucharist,
He received from her during His nine months in her womb)
A sacrifice consists of the external
sign and the interior dispositions which the sign
expresses. In the Cenacle (Holy Thursday/Last Supper) the external
sign was the seeming separation of His body and
blood. On the Cross, it was
the physical separation. But in both cases, and on our altars the interior is the disposition
of His Heart, most basically, obedience to the Father
(cf. Romans 5.19 and Lumen
Gentium §3). His disposition
on our altars is not a repeat
of that which He had on Calvary, it is
the continuation, for death
makes permanent the attitude of
soul with which one leaves the body. She
shares in the external sign of the Mass
in that the flesh and blood are still those He received
from her. She
shares in the interior dispositions of His
Heart, with which she is eternally united. Therefore the Mass is not the time to stop thinking of her. Rather, the more closely one is united with her, the more closely one is united with Her Son.
Therefore, let no one say we should forget her
at Mass. Rather, the more closely one is
joined to her there, the more closely to Jesus - and vice versa.
(This is true objectively, even if one's diversity of grace does not lead him/her to realize it).