John Paul II’s reflection takes us from the Biblical events of the Passion into the honor Christians have given the Blessed Mother from the earliest days in both East and West:
57. “Do this in remembrance of me” (Lk 22:19). In the “memorial” of Calvary all that Christ accomplished by his passion and his death is present. Consequently all that Christ did with regard to his Mother for our sake is also present. To her he gave the beloved disciple and, in him, each of us: “Behold, your Son!”. To each of us he also says: “Behold your mother!” (cf. Jn 19: 26-27).
Experiencing the memorial of Christ’s death in the Eucharist also means continually receiving this gift. It means accepting – like John – the one who is given to us anew as our Mother. It also means taking on a commitment to be conformed to Christ, putting ourselves at the school of his Mother and allowing her to accompany us. Mary is present, with the Church and as the Mother of the Church, at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist. If the Church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist. This is one reason why, since ancient times, the commemoration of Mary has always been part of the Eucharistic celebrations of the Churches of East and West.
In my own reflection, I do contemplate the long regard with which Mary has been held in Christianity. It is a tradition not easily dismissed, except by way of reaction against the people who hold a deep attachment to the Blessed Mother. It is not always Marian piety which is dismissed, but sometimes the words and deeds of those who profess Mary as a personal model. I feel sure Mary’s reaction would remain: pointing us to Christ.