Mary, Servant of the Word and Star of Evangelization

Mary is not a myth, but a real woman, with a personal history, even though we can only glean certain traits of her personality from the New Testament and not a proper biography.She lived at Nazareth, an insignificant Galilean city. She belonged to a working class neighbourhood; she was betrothed to Joseph the Carpenter, thus becoming a member of the tribe of David. She was actively involved in everyday life: she visited an aging relative, she went in pilgrimage to Jerusalem, she intervened in a wedding feast. She knew how to listen and reflect; but also knew how to speak out and take courageous decisions. She contemplated the marvels of God with awe and awaited justice for the oppressed, in the manner of the spirituality of the poor of JHWH.She sought to understand his will and was ready to place herself at his disposal as a humble "servant of the Lord", (Lk.1,38): and this is the only title she attributes to herself. She laboured tirelessly in trying to understand her son Jesus; she followed him with a maternal care and an heroic faith; she shared with him the poverty of Bethlehem, the exile in Egypt, the hidden life of Nazareth, the agony of Calvary. Finally, at Jerusalem, in the heart of the first christian community, she prayed for the coming of the Spirit of Pentecost: "All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers", (Acts 1, 14).

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