If you are like me, you are truly enjoying the words of our new Holy Father, Pope Francis. He has such simplicity when preaching the Gospel yet his words are reaching the hearts and souls of many – many who have found themselves in the dark or even on the brink of hopelessness. His passion for the Truth of Jesus Christ is contagious and his love for the Blessed Mother is just as devoted as his two predecessors. He has a great love for the poor – both spiritually and materially. He does not mix words, but he speaks with a pastoral heart. Pope Francis is the Shepherd the Church needs as she endures persecution and the reforms of the early 21st century.
Fr. John Lankeit, Rector of Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, recently said – if his [Pope Francis] words are not making you uncomfortable yet, you are not paying close enough attention. It is my hope that we all take these words to heart and that they make us uncomfortable in the sense that we should seek to meet Christ as Mary did in her life as the Eucharistic woman.
For today’s “Mondays with Mary”, I give to you the second part of Francis’ understanding of the “School of Mary, Eucharistic Woman” which coincides with the Solemnity of Corpus Christi from yesterday. For part one of this short series, please read – “Mondays with Mary” – Pope Francis on the “School of Mary, Eucharistic Woman” from March 18, 2013.
“Mary, therefore, is a model of the Covenant, between the Lord and His bride the Church, between God and each man. Model of a Covenant that is company of Love, confident and fruitful abandonment and fullness of hope that irradiates joy. All of these virtues become music in the Magnificat of which John Paul II gives us a beautiful Eucharistic vision:
“In the Magnificat, after all, is present the eschatological tension of the Eucharist. Each time the Son of God is presented under the ‘poverty’ of the sacramental species, bread and wine, the world has within it the germ of the new history, in which ‘He hath put down the mighty from their seat’ and ‘hath exalted the humble.’ (cf. Lk 1:52). Mary sings of the ‘new heaven’ and the ‘new earth’ that are anticipated in the Eucharist and, in a certain sense, allows a glimpse into its programmed ‘design.’ Given that the Magnificat expresses the spirituality of Mary, nothing helps us live better the Eucharistic Mystery than this spirituality. The Eucharist has been given to us for our life, as that of Mary’s, all one Magnificat!”
John Paul invited us to enter “the school of Mary, Eucharistic woman.” Now we are shown how within the Magnificat is active and present the “end” or program of this school. End that anticipates – esta is the joyful Good News – the Eucharist, lived as a song of glorification and thankfulness. Thus Mary “anticipates” the “program of God” for history, His plan of salvation, and lives it as a prophetic present. In the joy that inundates her vision of faith; this way also the Eucharist anticipates “in its poverty,” according to John Paul, the creation of the new history…
What the Eucharist accomplishes – in its sacramental poverty – Mary sings in the Magnificat and as she sings it, the Church – and each one of us in it – we are made “contemporaneous” with our Lady and we live of her spirituality, that is life in the Spirit:
The Eucharist, as source and summit of the life and the mission of the Church, must be translated in spiritual terms, in life ‘according the Spirit’ (cf. Rm 8:4 s.; Ga 5:16, 5:25).”” (Palm Sunday Homily 2008 – Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio)