272. With her eyes on her children in their needs as at Cana of Galilee, Mary helps keep alive attitudes of attention, service, commitment, and selfless generosity that should distinguish the disciples of her Son. She also indicates what pedagogy should be used so that the poor “feel at home” in every Christian community.(Novo Millennio Ineunte 50) She creates communion and educates to a way of life shared in solidarity, in fraternity, in caring for and welcoming the other, especially if he or she is poor or in need. Her strong presence in our communities has enriched and will continue to enrich the Church’s motherly dimension and its welcoming attitude, which makes it “home and school of communion,”(Ibid. 43) and spiritual space that prepares for mission.
Pope John Paul II emphasizes the importance of inclusion, and how Mary is a model for this and might facilitate the same attitude in Christian believers. The question remains: do we see our need to model ourselves more closely on this? Or does Mary remain simply an object of distant regard. Do her images serve to merely decorate otherwise blank spaces, or do we permit her to inspire us to go deeper, to move with her and her Son?
This concludes the Aparecida document’s examination of the Blessed Mother and discipleship. Any comments before we move onward?
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.