DAY 22: “MOTHER OF HOPE” (MATER SPEI)
Having contemplated the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Mother of Mercy,” (the first of the recent additional titles by Pope Francis in the Litany), we shall now contemplate on the second added title: “Mother of Hope” (Latin, Mater Spei), today being the twenty-fourth day of our October devotion. How is the Blessed Virgin Mary “Mother of Hope” invoked after “Mother of Divine Grace” (Mater Divinae Gratiae)?
First, the Scripture gives us a clue on Mary’s own words: “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). The phrase “be it done to me…” is not only an acceptance but also a confident opening to the future. Therefore, ” be it done to me…” is hope in all its concreteness. Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s life is a set of attitudes of hope, based on the “YES” given at the time of the Annunciation. Mary did not know how she could become a Mother, but she fully entrusted herself to the mystery that was about to be fulfilled, and she became the Woman of Hope.
In the face of all difficulties and challenges surrounding the birth and the upbringing of the Child Jesus as depicted in Scripture, the Blessed Virgin’s hope never wavered. This tells us that hope is nourished by listening, contemplation, patience, so that the Lord’s time may mature.
At the wedding at Cana, we see Mary, the “Mother of Hope,” always attentive to situations and things and offering hope in the face of despair – “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn. 2:5). At the foot of the Cross, she is the Woman of pain and, at the same time, of the “watchful waiting” (hope) for a mystery greater than pain, that is to be fulfilled. Everything seems really over; we could say that it appeared that all hope was lost. However, she remained hopeful for a “greater tomorrow” – the dawn of the resurrection, for a redeemed humanity.
Above all, to invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Mother of Hope” is to revive in us one of the theological virtues – hope. Although, at first, “hope” comes from the verb “to wait,” the best interpretation, in this case, would be “to trust.” As for us, “we hope in the Lord: he is our help and our shield” (Ps 33:20). In this way, Mary, “Mother of Hope,” points to the heavens. In the face of sickness, chaos, unemployment, corruption, bad governance, injustice, hunger, violence, and all forms of human maltreatment, we hope for better times and, finally, eternity with God by imitating Mary’s hope. Again, helped by Our Lady, we hope because we believe.
Let Us Pray:
Almighty and Eternal God, fill us with your grace through a humble devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the glorious Mother of your Son, may we be helped and defended as we call upon her in hope and trust, and strengthened by her intercession, may we be strong in faith, steady in hope, and persevere in your love. Grant this through Christ Our Lord. Amen
Oh “Mother of Hope” (Mater Spei), pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?