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May: the month of Mary, Mother of God

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 Contents - May 2004AD2000 May 2004 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: May: the month of Mary, Mother of God - Peter Westmore
New liturgy document: Rome affirms right of laity to complain about abuses - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Australian Bishops' ad limina: strong leadership needed to confront secularism
Ethics: Denial of food and water to patients is 'genuine euthanasia': John Paul II - Michael Casanova
Church in UK welcomes abortion documentary - Anthony Cappello
Priesthood: Pope's World Day of Prayer for Vocations - Fr Paul Stuart
Events: Brisbane Corpus Christi Procession - Josie Mangano
Education: The religious character of Catholic schools: how can it be enhanced? - Br Paul Macrossan CFC
Poetry: Come As You Are (revised version) - Bruce Dawe
Art: Beauty is very much an attribute of God - Sister Wendy - Sarah Macdonald
Liturgy: Cardinal George of Chicago examines post-Vatican II liturgical reforms - Michael Gilchrist
Letters: God's house (letter) - Melanie Costabile
Letters: Timely article on reverence (letter) - Name and Address Supplied
Letters: Reverence at Mass (letter) - Shirley Vaughan
Letters: Eucharistic reverence (letter) - Carmel Strong
Letters: Vocations guide (letter) - Patrick Ryan
Letters: 'The Passion' (letter) - Bob Denahy
Letters: Catholic schools (letter) - Elizabeth Alderton
Letters: No laughing matter (letter) - Dr Lance Eccles
Letters: Personhood (letter) - Dr Brian Pollard
Letters: Darwinism (letter) - Michael Griffiths
Events: Wagga Wagga Seminary Open Day 16 May
Books: Marriage and Family in the Biblical World, edited by Ken Campbell - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: Why Must I Suffer?, by Francis Remler - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: ANGLICANS AND ORTHODOX: Unity and Subversion (1559-1725), by Judith Pinnington - Tracey Rowland (reviewer)
Books: AD Books - More new titles for 2004 - Anthony Cappello
Reflection: Why the world needs Jesus Christ and Christian models - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM

During his 26 year pontificate, John Paul II has frequently reminded us that the month of May is, in a particular way, dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God.

In their reflection on the significance of Jesus' Passion, the Church fathers understood that when Jesus, dying in agony on the Cross, said to St John, "This is your mother", he was not merely entrusting Mary to John's care, but also making Mary the spiritual mother of all followers of Christ.

In Mary's life on earth, we see a strong woman, the author of the Magnificat, who was willing to embrace motherhood as a vocation from God, in all its joys and sorrows. Every mother will know exactly the meaning of the prophet Simeon's words to Mary, when Jesus was presented in the Temple in Jerusalem: "A sword will pierce your own heart".

She was with Jesus at every moment of his life: from his conception through his "hidden life" in Bethlehem, during his public ministry, at his crucifixion, and with the disciples on Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit came down upon them. She was both Jesus' model, and an example of perfect discipleship.

In following in the footsteps of Jesus, and in the richness of the Christian tradition, we find in Mary the perfect mediator between mankind and God, in whom we can confide our most private thoughts and deepest fears, asking her intercession in the confident knowledge that Jesus will hear her, as happened at the Wedding Feast at Cana.

In our own society, it is unfashionable to pray, and in a society which has devalued motherhood, it is profoundly counter-cultural to pray to Mary in particular. These are two good reasons this month why we should turn, in complete trust, to Mary our mother.

  • Peter Westmore is Publisher of AD2000.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 4 (May 2004), p. 2

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