Mary, Mother of God and Mother of All Believers

The history of salvation is not the history of the One Creator God acting alone in human history. Rather, it involves an intimate dialogue between God and human beings. In this dialogue, God freely expresses himself to the world as ineffable love by uttering his divine Word into the world to truly dwell among us. Yet how could the Word be made flesh if it was not freely received and conceived by a human being? Indeed, the joyful message of God was brought to humanity thanks to a totally free fiat of a virgin who would offer her life of virginity to God. The dialogue between the angel Gabriel and the virgin Mary in the gospel of Luke tells us that she was not coerced to accept the mission, nor did she respond thoughtlessly to Gabriel’s message (Luke 1:34), although at first, she had been greatly troubled over such a message of joy. Her perplexity is understandable because she had not yet been told why she was the favored one of God (Luke 1:29). Yet her dialogue with the angel culminated in an assent of mind and will to the divine calling (Luke 1:38), with the result that she became the Bearer of God and the first recipient and mediator of the unconditional gift of the Incarnate Word.

When Jesus on the cross entrusted his beloved disciple to Mary and Mary to his beloved disciple, he also entrusted his Church to his mother. The Mother of Christ, the Head, is thus also the Mother of the Church, the Body, because the Head and Body are inseparable. Hence, she is not a stranger to us—members of the Church—but truly our mother. The motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary is not simply physical but also supernatural. It is not by her desire or by her merits, but by her obedience of faith that the divine promise would be fulfilled for the sake of all believers. Thus, in the Blessed Virgin Mary we see a holding together of both a human reality and an eschatological reality. Since her divine motherhood resides both in human history and in the history of salvation in which each of us live, we have a real relationship with her. Since we recognize her personal relationship with the incarnate Word and her sublime dignity in the divine economy, we should not hesitate to resort to the Blessed Virgin Mary for her constant help and example of faith. In our spiritual life, we shamelessly and unhesitatingly call her our blessed mother, and dare to say: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”

Br. Phong Nguyen, O.P. | Meet the Brothers in Formation HERE