Monday, June 01, 2020

Mater Ecclesiae

Today is also the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church.

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother,
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her,
he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”
Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
[John 19:25-27 (NRSV).]

One of the literary functions of the references to the beloved disciple, never given a proper name in the Gospel, is that it makes it possible for readers to 'occupy', as readers, the beloved disciple's place in the story and see it from that perspective. Despite emphasis on reading Scripture, we often don't really consider the ways in which Scripture teaches precisely by being read, drawing us into the narrative as readers in such a way that we are taught as readers. This is true throughout Holy Writ; this is just a particularly good example of it.

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