Mary, Queen of Peace
As we move closer to the celebration of the great Solemnity of Pentecost we find ourselves in a spiritual sense with our Blessed Mother in the Upper Room waiting for the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that he would not leave us orphans, that an Advocate would be sent on behalf of this young Church, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father to lead and teach us, bearing witness to Christ (John 14:18, 15:26).
The Second Vatican Council reminds us that “We see the Apostles before the day of Pentecost ‘persevering with one mind in prayer with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren’ (Acts 1:14), and we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation” (Lumen Gentium, 59). Mary teaches us how we today can prepare to be renewed once more by the gifts the Holy Spirit imparts to the Church.
During the month of May, we honor Mary, our Mother and Mother of the Church. In a special way in these times, we ask her intercession as Queen of Peace on behalf of our Christian brothers and sisters who are being persecuted around the world and who will join us on Pentecost Sunday in pleading: “Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth” (Responsorial Psalm 104).
In Nostra Aetate, the Council’s declaration on interreligious dialogue, the Church recognizes that unity begins in fellowship and celebrating what we share in common. “In dialogue we can learn what we have in common and come to a better understanding of our differences as we seek to “to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom” (Nostra Aetate, 3). In dialogue, we have learned that Muslims honor Mary and “they even call on her with devotion” as the mother of Jesus (Id.). Thus, Mary is a bridge to unity and peace with Muslims.
With so much turmoil in so many continents in our world, it is easy to become cynical about the power of the Holy Spirit or even the power of intercessory prayer, but in this Mary is a teacher and model of faith. The Blessed Virgin teaches us what our faith should be. Like us, she was a human being who had to struggle to hear and accept God’s work and to grasp the mysterious ways in which God works. She did so with such consummate fidelity that she is forever the example of what we mean by faith-true, profound faith.
We cannot equal Mary in the wondrous mysteries in which she participated and in the privileges she received. But we can certainly emulate her faith and trust in the power of her intercessory prayer. As Saint John Paul II reminds us, “In contemplating Mary’s powerful intercession as she waits for the Holy Spirit, Christians of every age have frequently had recourse to her intercession on the long and tiring journey to salvation, in order to receive the gifts of the Paraclete in greater abundance” (General Audience, May 28, 1997).
Together with the Holy Spirit, our Blessed Mother can foster unity in the human family. Filled with the Spirit of God’s love, the Queen of Peace helps lead the way to tranquility and harmony. For this reason, we persevere with one mind in prayer with Mary and the whole Church: “Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.”