The Church as “Mother”

Deacons should aspire to a deep relationship with Holy Mother Church. Those who do so are more likely to be a person of humble prayer and of great concern for the People of God, in particular. Pope Francis described the Church as a Mother for the children of God. If we realize that She is a Mother for us, then we as a baptized community need to listen to Her and obey, just as Our Lord, Jesus did as a child in Nazareth with His Mother, Mary.

Here is what the Holy Father had to say in a general audience in Rome on September 3rd, 2014:

In our catechesis, we have often noted that we do not become a Christian on our own, but by being born and nurtured in the faith in the midst of the People of God, that is the Church. She is a true mother who gives us life in Christ and, in the communion of the Holy Spirit, brings us into a common life with our brothers and sisters.

The model of motherhood for the Church is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who in the fullness of time conceived through the Holy Spirit and gave birth to the Son of God. Her motherhood continues through the Church, who brings forth sons and daughters through Baptism, whom she nourishes through the Word of God.

In fact, Jesus gave the Gospel to the Church to bring forth new life by generously proclaiming his word and winning other sons and daughters for God our Father.

As a mother, the Church nurtures us throughout life by illuminating our path with the light of the Gospel and by sustaining us with the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. With this nourishment, we are able to choose the good and be vigilant against evil and deceit, and overcome the difficult moments of life with courage and hope.

This is the Church: a mother who has at heart the good of her children. And since we are the Church, we are called to live this same spiritual, maternal attitude towards our brothers and sisters, by welcoming, forgiving and inspiring trust and hope.

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