Mary the Star
Books by the John Paul II,
Threshold of Hope, ($12.00) or about him--His Holiness:
John Paul II, & the Hidden History...
(by Carl Bernstein &
the Apostle Luke presents Mary to us as a pilgrim of love. But Elizabeth draws attention to her faith and states the first Beatitude of the Gospels in her regard: "Blessed is she who believed". This expression is a kind of key which unlocks for us the innermost reality of Mary. As a conclusion to the catecheses of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, then, we would like to present the Mother of the Lord as a pilgrim in faith. As the Daughter of Zion, she walks in the footsteps of Abraham, the one who obeyed by faith, going out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go" (Heb 11: 8). This symbol of the pilgrimage in faith sheds light on the interior history of Mary, the believer par excellence, as the Second Vatican Council already suggested: “The Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross.”
The Annunciation is the point of departure from which her whole journey towards God begins: a journey of faith which, knowing the prediction that a sword would pierce her heart, advanced down the tortuous paths of exile in Egypt and of inner darkness, when Mary "did not understand" the attitude of the 12-year-old Jesus in the temple and yet kept "all these things in her heart."(Lk 2: 51).
Her visit to Elizabeth is sealed by the canticle of the Magnificat, a hymn that has come down through all Christian centuries as a perennial melody. A hymn that unites their hearts of Christ's disciples beyond the historical divisions, which we are committed to overcoming in view of full communion. In this ecumenical atmosphere, it is good to remember that in 1521 Martin Luther devoted a famous commentary to this "holy canticle of the Blessed Mother of God", as he expressed it. In it he says that the hymn "must be learned well and remembered by all", because "in the Magnificat, Mary teaches us how we should love and praise God.... She wants to be the greatest example of God's grace in order to spur everyone to have trust and to praise divine grace."
Mary celebrates the primacy of God and his grace. From the moment when God looked on her with love, Mary became a sign of hope for the multitude of the poor, the earth's least ones who become the first in the kingdom of God.
Condensed from L’Osservatore Romano-25 March 2001 from the Vatican web site: www.vatican.va