Since he is most noticed these days at congressional hearings, I thought you would enjoy Bishop William Lori discussing Mary and the Eucharist:
Who better to help us grow in our understanding and love of the Eucharist than Mary, the Mother of our Lord and “the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit” (Rosary of the Virgin Mary, 16)? Although the Blessed Virgin Mary was not present at the Last Supper, she remains for all time “The Woman of the Eucharist,” as John Paul II called her in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia. We know from the Acts of the Apostles that Mary was present at the earliest celebrations of the Mass (2:42), and the Eucharist is never celebrated without invoking her name in the communion of saints.
But Mary’s role in the Eucharist goes deeper. Mary conceived the Word of God in her sinless heart before she carried him in her womb. By the power of the Holy Spirit, she conceived physically the one whom we receive, “Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity,” each time we go to Communion. As she carried Jesus in her womb to visit her cousin Elizabeth, Mary “became in some way a ‘tabernacle’ — the first ‘tabernacle’ in history” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 55).
More than anyone else, Mary followed her son and embodied the kingdom of the Beatitudes that he preached. She stood beneath the cross, sharing in her son’s sacrifice, her soul pierced with sorrow. She received the good news of the resurrection with joy and prayed with the apostles as the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost. She stored in her heart the living memory of Jesus and his saving deeds, which the Church remembers and re-presents every time the Eucharist is celebrated. Mary, who assented to the mysteries of Christ, teaches us to say “Amen!” to the mysteries in which we are so privileged to share at every Mass.
When we meditate on the fifth luminous mystery, the institution of the Eucharist, we ask Mary to intercede for us, so that we may enter into the glory of this great mystery of faith. Let us ask Mary, from her place in the heavenly liturgy, to help us love the Eucharist and give thanks. And let us beg her intercession for the many Catholics who absent themselves from this mystery, which is indeed “the source and summit” of the Church’s life.