May is the Month of Mary

May is the month of Mary. It is a long-standing tradition of the Church to encourage a specific devotion for each month of the year, and May is the month dedicated to Mary.

Our Lady has a special place in our Christian faith, she is a specific feature of Catholicism (and Orthodoxy) and her veneration has been regarded as a stumbling block in the ecumenical dialogue with Protestant and Reformed Christians. Protestant advisors at the Second Vatical Council warned the Council against including a chapter on Mary in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church; the Reformed Theologian Karl Barth referred to Mariology as a tumour that has to be excised. Let’s see now why Mary is so important to us Catholics.

Mary is important because it shows we humans can cooperate with God in the work of salvation. No Mary, no Jesus. At the Annunciation Mary gave her, fully human, contribution to God’s salvation. This contribution was necessary and required. Every time we do good and make an effort to build up the kingdom of God on earth, we are giving our contribution to God’s work of salvation and redemption of all creation. Mary shows that such contribution of ours is not only possible, but it is also needed.

Mary mediates between God and us. We have only a mediator between us and God, and that is Jesus Christ his son. However, Jesus wanted to give us his mother as our mother so that she can pray and intercede for us. At the Wedding Feast of Cana asked Jesus to intervene to spare their hosts embarrassment. Jesus granted this request even if ‘his hour [had] not yet come’.

Mary has arrived already where we hope to go. At the end of her earthly life, she was assumed body and soul into Heaven. This shows that our destiny is indeed to enter Heaven. She is the first, and so far, only human who has entered Heaven body and soul. Still, her Assumption validates our belief in the resurrection of the body and the life to come.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest