Mary, pray for us
If we welcome a new year with joy, it means we feel hopeful it will be better than the previous one. Definite hope was given to us thanks to Mary. Mary is the woman who knew how to make God fall in love with humanity and who made God want to enter our flesh and our history.
Throughout the Christian world, when we pray the Hail Mary, we always highlight the words “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.” Mary, as a loving mother, always prays for her children, even if they are lost sinners. That is what the unconditional love of a mother means — a mother never gets tired of waiting.
As an obedient Jew, Mary prayed for the Almighty to send a messiah, a savior to his people. Her prayer was so pure, God chose her to be the human channel of that grace that changed the fate of humanity forever. While raising her son, Jesus, Mary prayed patiently to God, that one day her son would show himself as the “response” of God, a God who always listens to the cry of his children.
When Mary watched Jesus announce the kingdom of God among us, she prayed that all the listeners would open their hearts to welcome him with joyful surprise, as she had. When she realized the controversy and rejection of her son’s message, Mary prayed for strength and confidence for herself and the new disciples.
Standing before her crucified son at the cross, Mary prayed with Jesus, that the Father would forgive us because we didn’t know what we were doing. In the upper room, Mary prayed with the apostles to the Almighty, that he would send his Holy Spirit to transform the fearful disciples into courageous apostles and martyrs.
Mary, as a woman of faith, walked and prayed alongside the apostles to lay solid foundations for the new universal church of her son, Jesus. Mary is the one who intercedes for us in times of trouble, as she did at the Cana wedding when the wine ran out.
Mary is our great intercessor, able to obtain any grace from God Almighty because she is the woman of faith par excellence, and “everything is possible for the one who has faith” (Mark 9:23).
Our Lady of Lourdes, Guadalupe, Chiquinquirá, Aparecida, Czestochowa and Kibeho are just a few of the advocates by which, throughout the centuries, this unconditional mother, who was given to us by Jesus from the height of the cross, continues to intercede for each human being born into the world.
As we begin a new calendar year, let us join in prayer to Mary, our unconditional mother. Let us pray with her, that we can finally understand that all of us are brothers and sisters, sheltered by her tender mantle. Let us pray with her, that we can discover new ways in which to forgive one another.
We pray that Mary, the woman of hope, will continue to help us keep the pace as we walk through this earthly life, so that, holding her hand, we can confidently and joyfully reach her glorious son with the scars of those who have defeated death and sin.
Read the Spanish version of this column.
Northwest Catholic - January/February 2020
Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., is auxiliary bishop of Seattle and vicar for Hispanic ministry.
Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., es obispo auxiliar de Seattle y vicario para el ministerio hispano.Website: www.seattlearchdiocese.org/Archdiocese/auxiliaries.aspx