was consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary last August 10,
2007. On October 2 we formulated our Core Values. The two
events are intimately connected, and we look to our Mother
Mary as the personification of and the model for living out
our Core Values. Just as our Core Values function as our constant
guideposts as we proceed with our life and mission, so Mary
likewise is our guide.
Mary of course is the mother of Jesus our Lord. What other
human person more than her would be centered on Christ? Jesus
was her own Son. She gave birth to him and she witnessed him
die, only to see him live again.
grew up with her. With the amazing things told about her son
at his birth, “Mary kept all these things, reflecting
on them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). With everything that
Jesus said and did, as he grew up, she “kept all these
things in her heart” (Lk 2:51). The heart of Mary is
full of knowledge and experiences of Jesus, and full of wisdom
coming from the fruit of constant and intense reflection.
is the model of faith and trust. We too must have faith in
Jesus as Savior, and trust in God’s eternal plan for
us. And just like her Son Jesus, Mary is our model in our
obedience to the Father, in our faithfulness to His call,
and to total submission to His divine will. She is our model
for holiness, being conceived without sin, and walking intimately
Mary is our inspiration for evangelization and mission, by
which we bring the good news of salvation in Jesus to the
world, and as such, by which we become involved in spiritual
warfare. From Genesis to Revelation, Mary plays a key role
in the defeat of the enemy. There is enmity between her and
the ancient serpent (Gn 3:15), and right at the start there
is the promise of a Redeemer, the offspring of the woman,
who will deal the death blow to the head of the serpent. In
turn, Revelation describes the conflict between the woman
and the dragon, with the dragon defeated by the angels of
her child (Rv 12).
“when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under
the law, so that we might receive adoption” (Gal 4:4-5).
Having given birth to the Savior, Mary is rightfully the mother
on the family
Jesus, Mary and Joseph were a family. For about 30 years they
lived a normal (can such be so with the Son of God?) family
life. Mary must have experienced much astonishment as well
as anxiety as Jesus grew up (Lk 2:48).
the cross, Jesus gave his mother to his disciple John. John
was to be her son, as she was to be his mother (Jn 19:26-27a).
As such, Jesus also gives her to us as our mother. She is
the mother of all Christians, here personified by the beloved
like John, we take Mary into our individual homes (Jn 19:27b).
We are a family, with God our Father, Jesus our brother, and
Mary our mother.
Mary was there in the upper room where the disciples “devoted
themselves with one accord to prayer” (Acts 1:14), awaiting
the promise of the Father. On the day of Pentecost, they were
all baptized with the Holy Spirit, and the community of Christ’s
disciples, the Church, was born.
Mary was not only present when the Church was born. She has
a much bigger role. As the Church is the body of Christ on
earth, and as Mary is the mother of Christ, then she is also
the mother of the Church.
the life and mission of the Church, Mary is there right in
her midst, praying and interceding. She is the heart of our
life as community.
a preferential option for the poor
The canticle of Mary, the Magnificat, is a wonderful hymn
of praise. In it she says that God has “lifted up the
lowly” and “the hungry he has filled with good
things” (Lk 1:52b-53a). Mary proclaims the messiah of
the poor, her own Son, who would “bring glad tidings
to the lowly” (Is 61:1), and who would “judge
the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s
afflicted” (Is 11:4a).
involves liberation—from sin as well as from poverty.
In the work for social justice, we are encouraged by Mary’s
words, that God has “dispersed the arrogant of mind
and heart” and “thrown down the rulers from their
thrones” (Lk 1:51b-52a). In our quest for justice there
will be a reversal of fortunes, with the hungry filled and
the rich sent away empty (Lk 1:53).
upon Mary as the lowly handmaid now called blessed by all
ages (Lk 1:48), we confidently look to God’s mercy and
provision for the poor, as we do our share in living out a
preferential option for the poor.
Even as she is the mother of God, Mary is our model for servanthood.
At the Annunciation, Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid
of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
(Lk 1:38). She acknowledged her “handmaid’s lowliness”
(Lk 1:48a). In humility, openness and trust, she accepted
what she could not understand. She was obedient, allowing
herself to be used according to God’s purpose.
her desire to serve those in need during the wedding at Cana,
Mary confidently “said to the servers, ‘Do whatever
he tells you.’” (Jn 2:5). In our call to service,
Mary shows us the way—by being sensitive to people’s
needs, by being confident in God’s help, and by being
totally submitted to God’s will and direction.
a servant to the Church
Mary was present when the Church was born on Pentecost. As
such, she is present in the Church’s mission, which
started that day, to proclaim the good news to the whole world.
fact, with her yes, with the faith she professed at the Annunciation,
Mary precedes and prefigures the Church. As such, she remains
ever at the heart of the Church and her mission in the world.
It is Mary’s soul that proclaims the greatness of the
Lord, and her spirit that rejoices in God the Savior (Lk 1:46-47).
Mary is our inspiration for being at the service of the Church
in its mission.
(Nov 9, 2007)