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Liturgical parallels between Jesus and Mary

English Spanish Fr. Eduardo Barrios, SJ Profile

No one is as close to the person and work of Jesus Christ as his own mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Not only did she give birth to him, but she also was his most faithful disciple, following him to Calvary.

The liturgy reflects this closeness of the Virgin Mary to Jesus, as we will now point out:

1) In December, we celebrate the Nativity of the Lord, one of the greatest solemnities of the liturgical calendar, always marked on December 25. Well, another fixed feast honors the birth of Mary. It is celebrated on September 8 as the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

2) Jesus is necessarily sinless and impeccable. He affirmed his status as the Immaculate Lamb by asking his adversaries: "Can any of you charge me with sin?" (Jn 8:46). St. Paul calls Jesus, the one "who did not know sin" (2 Cor 5:21). This being so obvious, there is no liturgical celebration of Jesus the Immaculate, but there is a liturgical celebration of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary that same month, on December 8 — celebrated last year on Monday, December 9, because December 8 coincided with the Second Sunday of Advent.

3) The liturgy honors the sacrificial sufferings of Jesus not only during Holy Week, but also with a special feast called The Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14. One day later, on September 15, the Church remembers the sufferings of his mother with the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows.

4) The Church commemorates the glorious mysteries of Jesus by celebrating the highest solemnity of his glorious Resurrection as well as his Ascension into heaven. These celebrations are movable. On the other hand, there is a fixed solemnity for the Virgin Mary on August 15, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary body and soul into heaven.

5) The liturgical year always ends with the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. During his lifetime, Jesus did not want to proclaim himself king except in the presence of Pontius Pilate, when it was already clear that his kingdom was not like those of this world. Neither did Mary proclaim herself a queen, but a servant of the Lord. However, she reigns from heaven since her Assumption. That is why there is a liturgical feast for the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 22.

Although every day of the year is Christian and Marian, there is a special month for Jesus: June, month of the Sacred Heart. At the same time, there is a month of particular devotion to the Virgin: May, the month of flowers.

And, just as Jesus wants us to honor his mother, she directs us to him by continually repeating her testament: "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn 2:5)

Fr. Eduardo Barrios, SJ
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