The Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church is a call to entrust our troubles to her while trusting in God’s plan for our lives, Archbishop José H. Gomez said in a June 1 Mass live streamed via Facebook to students in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. 

“Let us entrust the troubles in our world and the troubles in our lives to our Holy Mother Mary, who is the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, and the mother of every one of us,” said Archbishop Gomez in his homily

Pope Francis established the feast, which falls on the Monday after Pentecost, in 2018. In the last two years, the day had been marked at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels with a special 8 a.m. weekday Mass and Marian liturgy where thousands of students venerated the Virgin Mary with prayer, song and flowers, and two students would crown a statue of Mary.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has closed parishes and schools since March, the way students participated was a bit different this year. 

Students were invited to place flowers on a picture or statue of Mary in their home and share photos on social media using the hashtag #MotheroftheChurch. Some parishes and schools used the Facebook Watch Party feature to participate together. 

During the broadcast, two Catholic school students crowned the statue of Mary representing all those who were not able to attend.

In his homily, Archbishop Gomez reflected on the day’s Gospel, in which Jesus Christ entrusts St. John to the Virgin Mary while dying on the cross. 

“No matter what happens in our lives, no matter what happens in our society — the cross is the answer,” said Archbishop Gomez. “His Sacred Heart is the answer. The Immaculate Heart and Sorrowful Heart of Our Lady is the answer. This is how much God loves us.”

An LA Catholic school student crowns the Blessed Virgin Mary during the special liturgy for Mary, Mother of the Church on June 1, 2020. (Victor Alemán)

Connecting the story of the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to the message of the feast day's Gospel, Archbishop Gomez reminded those following the Mass that “God did not abandon his children,” even when Adam and Eve strayed from his plan. 

“This is still true today: we can turn our back on God, but he will never turn his back on us,” he said, insisting that “there is no story of sin that is not also a story of God’s invitation to repentance and mercy.”

“The message of this great memorial is this — trust in God, trust in his love. He has a plan. His love is real and his mercy is true.”

The Archbishop prayed for Mary’s intercession for an end to the coronavirus pandemic and the violence and unrest in cities around the U.S. in response to the death of George Floyd. 

“May our Blessed Mother help us to reflect on all that is happening in our world in light of God’s plan for creation and for our lives,” the Archbishop said. 

Archbishop Gomez’s homily can be viewed and read in its entirety here