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Mary, Mother of hope,
accompany us on our journey!
Teach us to proclaim the living God;
help us to bear witness to Jesus,
the one Savior.
Make us kindly towards our neighbors,
welcoming to the needy,
concerned for justice,
impassioned builders of a more just world.
Intercede for us
as we carry out our work in history,
certain that the Father's plan will be fulfilled.

Dawn of a new world,
show yourself the Mother of hope
and watch over us!
Watch over the Church in Europe:
may she be transparently open to the Gospel:
May she be an authentic place
of communion.
May she carry out fully her mission
of proclaiming, celebrating and serving
the Gospel of hope
for the peace and joy of all.
Amen.

John Paul II


The gift of Our Lady - Mother of Hope

In life we all want to experience love, happiness and peace; basically we want to live life to the full. For this to happen we need to be in relationship with God, our inner selves and with others. These gifts are available from Jesus for He has said, "I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full".

Jesus, through Our Lady's "Yes", has came into the world and it has become possible for us to have a relationship with Him. And in response to this experience of His love within our own hearts we are able to go out to others in love.

Mary in her life has shown us that it is possible to do the impossible with God's grace. Let us pray with the pieces of scripture that show us the great gift that we have received in Our Lady, Mother of hope. United with her, we call on her spouse, the Holy Spirit.

Reflection 1

In the attempt to say "yes" to God's plan for our life and also the "yes" to love others as Jesus has loved us, we sometimes feel afraid, inadequate, and unable to carry it out. Our Lady has shown us that with a heart open to God's grace, then what ever we are being asked to do will be possible. The courage Our Lady showed when the angel made known to her what God was asking of her is a great example for us.

Jesus, as we listen to Your Word, speak to our hearts and give us the graces we need to make our "YES" to You:

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you". Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her. "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God. "I am the Lord's servant" Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." (Luke 1 26-38)

Reflection 2

At the wedding feast of Cana we see the power of Our Lady's intercession for us. Being sensitive to the needs of others she saw the difficult situation the wedding couple were in. With total trust in her son Jesus she presented the problem to him and her only words to the servants were: "Do whatever he tells you". She is sensitive to our needs as well. All we have to do is present whatever is in our hearts to her and as our Mother, she will intercede for us before her Son Jesus in heaven. Let us present to her the areas in our life where we need her help.

Reflection 3

No one could deny that life is a precious gift, but reality also teaches us that it includes its share of pain, suffering and the cross. During Our Lady's greatest suffering at the foot of the cross, Jesus gave John, the beloved disciple Mary as his Mother. John represents all of us and so at this point Mary became our Mother. As such she is with us through all the moments of our journey but especially when we feel surrounded by the struggles of life. Through praying to Mary we open ourselves up to the graces she has received from her Son on our behalf.

Jesus, we ask you for the grace to receive the gift of Our Lady as our Mother:

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Mother, here is your son", and to the disciple, "Here is your Mother,". From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19: 25-27)

Conclusion

Jesus, we thank You that You are truly present among us. We thank You for all the graces we have received, especially the gift of Our Lady. We entrust ourselves and all those we carry in our hearts to her, using a prayer of Pope Benedict XVI:

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Mother,
teach us to believe, to hope, to love with you.
Show us the way to his Kingdom!
Star of the Sea, shine upon us
and guide us on our way"

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