Gospel Joy: Following the example of Our Lady
From the very beginning of the pontificate of Pope Francis, he has placed great emphasis on Mary, the Mother of God. At the end of his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” he refers to her as the Mother of Evangelization, showing her role not only in the earthly life of Jesus, but also her presence and role over the centuries in the mission of Church. Jesus dying on the cross entrusted her to his disciple John, through whom he entrusted his Mother to the whole Church and all believers. Through this act Mary, the Mother of God, became also our Mother.
Te see the attitude of Mary in the reception of Jesus and the Gospel we can consider certain passages from the Scripture that show both contemplative and active side of her life. Mary agreed to be the Mother of God – “let it happen to me as you have said” (Lk 1:38) and she “stored up all these things in her heart” (Lk 2:52). But she also “went as quickly as she could into the hill country” (Lk 1:39); and “near the cross of Jesus stood his mother” (Jn 19:25). She was also praying with the disciples before Pentecost.
These fragments can teach us Christians that our proclamation should be a result of our contemplation that is its source. We can’t preach the Gospel without our personal meeting with Christ. Christianity is not a system or an ideology, we don’t preach anything like that. We preach a Person. Therefore we won’t be able to speak about somebody without our meeting with this person. Otherwise it will be our words, but not testimony that we will be able to give even in difficult situations. Mary was the closest to Jesus from his Incarnation and birth till his death on the cross and she is still in the heaven. Following her example we can learn how to be close to Jesus in our life. Nobody can teach us this better than his Mother. It is an interesting fact also that these two aspects of preaching are very important in our Dominican tradition and spirituality. The motto Contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere emphasizes both the contemplative and the active sides of our preaching.
Mary, Virgin and Mother
you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,
welcomed the word of life
in the depths of your humble faith:
as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One,
help us to say our own “yes”
to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,
to proclaim the good news of Jesus.
Mother of the living Gospel, pray for us.