• October 22, 2014

We encounter Jesus through Mary: JP II’s legacy

In this month in which the Church cel­e­brates the feast of the great Saint John Paul II - our Brooklyn center Patron Saint - his Post-Synodal Letter Ecclesia in America (1999) con­tinues to exhort and guide us in our min­istry.

“At the birth of Jesus, the Magi came from the East to Bethlehem and “saw the child with Mary his Mother” (Mt 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 (cf. Jn 2:11), it is Mary who inter­venes and directs the ser­vants towards her Son in these words: “Do what­ever he tells you” (Jn 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. In their preaching, “the Gospel was pro­claimed by pre­senting the Virgin Mary as its highest real­iza­tion. From the begin­ning — invoked as Our Lady of Guadalupe — Mary, by her moth­erly and mer­ciful figure, was a great sign of the close­ness of the Father and of Jesus Christ, with whom she invites us to enter into com­mu­nion.”

Trusting in the help of Mary, the Church in America desires to lead the men and women of the con­ti­nent to encounter Christ. This encounter will be the starting-point of authentic con­ver­sion and of renewed com­mu­nion and sol­i­darity. Such an encounter will con­tribute greatly to strength­ening the faith of many Catholics, helping them to mature in strong, lively and active faith.”

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