This week we celebrated the memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church for the first time. And for many who are not Catholic, the Church’s devotion to Mary can be a stumbling block. Some think that honoring Mary takes some of the honor away from Jesus. Others think honoring Mary is simply unnecessary, as she was merely a creature.
Recently on Go Ask Your Father™, Msgr. Stuart Swetland explained why Catholics honor Mary through feasts and memorials, and why loving Jesus means loving His mother. He said:
“Anybody who knows anything about a family knows that it does not take away anything from the son to honor the mother. It does not take away from the mother to honor the son. And so it is a puzzlement that anybody would have trouble with it. But people do.
This is what happens, of course, when you lose connection to the root or the base. We have to be reminded of the basic truth that Jesus didn’t come to write a book, He did not come to give us the Bible. He came to form a community of people in friendship with us. In other words, He came to form a Church.
And, of course, the Church gives us the Bible and the Church gives us how to faithfully interpret that book. And the Church gives us an authentic way of knowing the truth, the truth that sets us free. It connects us to the Word of God, and the Word of God is not a book. The Word of God is a person – Jesus of Nazareth, who is the Word made flesh.
We need to be connected with everything Jesus said and did. That is handed on to us by the official witnesses to His life, death, and resurrection, which were first the apostles, and then handed on to their successors, the bishops.
So Jesus gave us a way to know the truth, because He loves us. And the truth is that we are to honor His mother. And further, a truth that helps us in our prayer is to meditate on the life of Jesus, and that’s what we do in the rosary.
So anybody who knows what the rosary is, anybody who knows who Jesus is, and loves Him, knows that it does not take away from Him to love His mother. As a matter of fact, to not love His mother is a very odd way to love Jesus. I can’t imagine how you can love Jesus and not love His mother.”
Listen to the full conversation below: