Aparecida 267: Mary’s Unique Mission

Mary journeys with us on pilgrimage. She is also a disciple, a believer, and a missionary. She also has a unique role in God’s saving plan. We do well to reflect on that and look to her special and extraordinary assistance as we involve ourselves in God’s mission:

267. With her, providentially united to the fullness of time (Cf. Gal 4:4), the hope of the poor and desire of salvation comes to fulfillment. The Virgin of Nazareth had a unique mission in the history of salvation, conceiving, educating, and accompanying her Son to his ultimate sacrifice. From the cross, Jesus Christ entrusts to his disciples, represented by John, the gift of Mary’s motherhood, which springs directly from the paschal hour of Jesus: “And from that hour the disciple took her into his home” (Jn 19:27).

This experience at the foot of the cross is more important than it might seem as a small episode in a much larger event. In a way, Jesus restores a “motherhood” to Mary as he is about to breathe his last. Where he refers to her in John’s Gospel as “Woman,” he now establishes a new familial relationship. This is not for himself, but for the benefit of his disciples–whom he loves.

Does Mary have a continuing role to play? The bishops suggest she does:

Persevering along with the apostles awaiting the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:13-14), she aided in the birth of the missionary Church, imprinting on it a Marian seal that deeply marks its identity. As mother of multitudes, she strengthens the fraternal bonds among all, promotes reconciliation and forgiveness, and helps the disciples of Jesus Christ experience themselves as family, the family of God. In Mary, we are with Christ, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and likewise with our brothers and sisters.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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