SONG OF PRAISE: Luke 1:46-55
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
because he has looked upon the humiliation of his servant.
Yes, from now onwards all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name, and his faithful love extends age after age
to those who fear him.
He has used the power of his arm, he has routed the arrogant of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and raised high the lowly,
He has filled the starving with good things, sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his faithful love,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.
LITANY OF PRAISE: Holy is your name, O Lord!
SCRIPTURE READING: Acts of the Apostles 1:12-14
So from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, the apostles went back to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a Sabbath walk; and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James, son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude, son of James. With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
The word of the Lord.
REFLECTION: (Fr.Raniero Cantalamessa OFM.Cap)
Considering how rarely Mary is mentioned in the New Testament, it comes as a bit of a surprise to realise that, in fact, she was present at all three stages that form the Christian mystery and the Church; that is, at the Incarnation, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of her Son and at Pentecost. In the upper room, Mary is mentioned together with other women, just as she was on Calvary. To all appearances, she was present just like any one of these, neither more nor less. But here, too, the title “Mother of Jesus”, which comes immediately after her name, puts her on a much higher level than the women and even the apostles themselves. What does the fact that Mary was present as the mother of Jesus signify? That the Holy Spirit, who was about to come, was “the Spirit of her Son”! There was an objective and indestructible bond between her and the Holy Spirit: the same Jesus that together they both gave birth to. In the Creed we say that Jesus became incarnate “by the power of the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary.” Mary was not, therefore, in the upper room, the cenacle, simply as one of the women.
Beneath the Cross, Mary appeared as the mother of the Church; now, in the cenacle, she appeared as the godmother of the Church – a strong and sage godmother. In order to become a godmother, a person must first have been baptized. This was the case of Mary: she was baptized by the Spirit and now assisted the Church at its baptism by the Spirit. When an adult is being baptized, the godmother helps with the preparations, and this was what Mary did with the apostles and does with us.
INTERCESSIONS: Lord Jesus, may your mother pray for us.
CLOSING PRAYER:Almighty God, you loved the world so much that you gave your only Son to take on our human nature and be born of the Virgin Mary; grant that as we are reborn in him, so we may always be supported by the love and prayers of his mother and every day grow in the grace of the Holy Spirit, until we are brought to sing your praises with her in heaven: through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.