I am writing this newsletter for May here in the city of Fatima, in Portugal, where today I am taking part in a Marian celebration together with the young people and the Salesian Family of this province.
A reading of the texts that refer to the Mother of Jesus in the Gospels of Luke and John offers us important and very relevant aspects of Our Lady's way of communicating.
I would like to highlight, among others, three great moments of profound and striking communication from the Mother of Jesus.
The first is her visit to Saint Elizabeth. Mary goes to her home. She communicates to her, as her greatest gift, her inner richness, her delight in God, her song of joy and exaltation: “The Mighty One has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49).
Mary has a profound experience of God's grace, which gives her the special gift of being the Mother of the Saviour. She tells Elizabeth of the marvels God does in her.
Mary experienced the wonder of God's call and, inwardly, she carried in her heart and soul her deep gratitude because the Lord had done great things in her life.
Mary is the communicator of God's grace, of her free and loving Yes to the One who chose her as his chosen one. She communicates to Elizabeth the wonderful and great news: that she is to be the Mother of Jesus, of the Saviour. The interpersonal communication of Mary with Elizabeth takes place in the encounter of two women deeply caught up in God's love.
Mary stays with Elizabeth. We see in this gesture the communication of the sisterly, serving and caring presence that one has for the other. The communication between Mary and Elizabeth is centred on the great mission of being the Mother of the Saviour.
In the second instance, at Cana in Galilee, Mary is the communicator of human relationships, empathy, sensitivity and openness to others. Mary interprets the situation with faith, by going out of herself to others, noticing that the wine had run out: “When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’” (Jn 2:3).
Mary is the communicator sensitive to the feelings of those taking part in the feast. She feels their hearts troubled by the lack of wine, which was part of that sacred ritual. Mary is the communicator who looks into the depths of her Son's eyes, and communicates to Him with maternal trust that “they have no wine”.
At Cana, Mary is the communicator who values the group, who knows how to live in community, who participates in its rituals, and joins in the joy of the guests. His communication with Jesus and the guests at the feast is one of loving, active, firm and creative authority: “His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ ” (Jn 2:5). Mary takes the initiative. She leads. She takes the first step, dialogues, questions, listens and acts to find a solution to the lack of wine. Mary, a communicator of great leadership, has a specific sensitivity for others and an immediate active attitude.
In the third instance, in the Upper Room, we see Mary silently present among Jesus’ disciples. In the Acts of the Apostles (1:14), Luke mentions Mary's humble presence when they receive the Holy Spirit. Mary is a woman of communion, of integration in the community; she inserts herself among the disciples as woman and Mother of Jesus. Mary interacts, listens, prays, accompanies, participates in the community that is being born. Though Mother of Jesus, she does not place herself above the disciples. She communicates with her friendly and humble presence, with her deep sense of community.
Mary, Mother of Jesus and communicator of God's plan in his life. Mary, a leader of the emerging community. Mary, communicator of God's tenderness for all men and women of all times.
All the best!
Fatima, Portugal, 15 May 2021.
FR. GILDÁSIO MENDES DOS SANTOS
General Councillor for Social Communication