December 8, 2013
Immaculate Conception Novena
Mary, Mother of the New Evangelization
Theme: Mary, Star of Evangelization
Scripture Passage John 2: 1 - 5
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”
At the birth of Jesus, the Magi came from the East to Bethlehem and “saw the child with Mary his Mother” (Matthew 2:11). At the beginning of his public life, at the marriage of Cana, when the Son of God works the first of his signs, awakening faith in the disciples (John 2:11), it is Mary who intervenes and directs the servants towards her Son in these words: “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). In this regard I once wrote that “the Mother of Christ presents herself as the spokeswoman of her Son's will, pointing out those things which must be done so that the salvific power of the Messiah may be manifested”. For this reason Mary is the sure path to our meeting with Christ. Devotion to the Mother of the Lord, when it is genuine, is always an impetus to a life guided by the spirit and values of the Gospel.
How can we fail to emphasize the role which belongs to the Virgin Mary in relation to the pilgrim Church in America journeying towards its encounter with the Lord? Indeed, the Most Blessed Virgin “is linked in a special way to the birth of the Church in the history ... of the peoples of America; through Mary they came to encounter the Lord”.
Throughout the continent, from the time of the first evangelization, the presence of the Mother of God has been strongly felt, thanks to the efforts of the missionaries.
The appearance of Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization. Its influence greatly overflows the boundaries of Mexico, spreading to the whole Continent.
With the passage of time, pastors and faithful alike have grown increasingly conscious of the role of the Virgin Mary in the evangelization of America. Holy Mary of Guadalupe is invoked as “Patroness of all America and Star of the first and new evangelization”.
It is my heartfelt hope that she, whose intercession was responsible for strengthening the faith of the first disciples, will by her maternal intercession guide the Church in America, obtaining the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as she once did for the early Church so that the new evangelization may yield a splendid flowering of Christian life.
(Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America, 1999; #11)
§ an Our Father
§ a Hail Mary
§ a Glory Be
§ the invocation “Mary, Immaculate, Help of Christians, pray for us.”