By Fr. Christopher Foeckler, MJ • Phoenix, AZ

As we celebrate in this month of May the great feast of Pentecost, with the dramatic coming of the Holy Spirit upon the nascent Church in the Upper Room, we are reminded by St. Luke of the fact that among those present was the Mother of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary! We must also remember that the relationship of the Holy Spirit with Mary, the virgin of Nazareth, already at this time has a long personal history of interaction. It was the Holy Spirit who at Nazareth overshadowed the Blessed Virgin, fecundating her virginal womb with the new life of the very Son of God! It was the Holy Spirit who accompanied her to the hill country of Judea and filled Elizabeth with inspiration at the very sound of her greeting to know that Mary was “the Mother of my Lord” and made the baby in her womb leap for joy! 

The Mother of Jesus would also become the source of inspiration and information for the Gospels regarding the infancy and childhood of the Messiah for both Matthew and Luke. And she continues to accompany the Church as its Spiritual Mother. “In her life, the Virgin has been a model of that motherly love with which all who join in the Church’s apostolic mission for the regeneration of mankind should be animated.” (Lumen Gentium)

Pope Benedict XVI also speaks so eloquently of Mary’s cooperation with the grace of God saying, “From the Annunciation to Pentecost, Mary of Nazareth appears as someone whose freedom is completely open to God’s Will. Her Immaculate Conception is revealed precisely in her unconditional docility to God’s Word. Obedient faith in response to God’s work shapes her life at every moment. A virgin attentive to God’s Word, she lives in complete harmony with His Will; she treasures in her Heart the words that come to her from God and, piecing them together like a mosaic, she learns to understand them more deeply; Mary is the Great Believer who places herself confidently in God’s Hands, abandoning herself to His Will.”

On this great feast of Pentecost we cannot do better in responding to the inspirations and graces of the Holy Spirit in our lives today in 2021 than by imitating the Blessed Virgin Mary’s fervor in praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and our docility to Him! 

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