During this month of Mary, Pope Francis asks us to pray that she, the Star of Evangelization, “may guide the Church in proclaiming Christ to all nations.”
Saint John Paul II carried a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother with him throughout his life, his ministry, and his pontificate. His papal motto, totus tuus, was symbolic of his entrusting all to the Mother of God, who he believed to be the surest way to Christ.
In his Mulieris Dignitatem, Saint John Paul II allowed his love for Mary to inspire his reflection on the dignity and vocation of women. If we measure the dignity and vocation of every human being by each one’s capacity to live in union with God, then the Mother of Jesus is “the most complete expression of this dignity and vocation.” He writes:
Mary attains a union with God that exceeds all the expectations of the human spirit. It even exceeds the expectations of all Israel, in particular the daughters of this Chosen People, who, on the basis of the promise, could hope that one of their number would one day become the mother of the Messiah. Who among them, however, could have imagined that the promised Messiah would be “the Son of the Most High?” On the basis of the Old Testament's monotheistic faith such a thing was difficult to imagine. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit, who “overshadowed” her, was Mary able to accept what is “impossible with men, but not with God” (cf. Mk 10: 27).
Mary’s union with God, something that was beyond all thought and expectations, should give us hope in the most difficult task of evangelization. What seems like a losing battle in our culture today becomes already a victory if we think of what was possible for her and what was made possible through her.
So with Pope Francis, let us turn to the Mother of Hope this month, asking for her powerful intercession in the quest of proclaiming the Gospel to all nations.