May 8, 2023

Dear Friends:

The Interfaith Peace Project continues its ongoing observance of the International Women’s Day, March 8, by sending you a reflection on the eighth of every month.

We invite you share in this effort by sending any articles or information concerning the voice of women that you would like to share to:

Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P
[email protected]
925-787-9279 IlzeLuceroPhoto

Continuing to Honor International Women’s Day
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.

The month of May is typically dedicated to Holy Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Christian people around the World honor her as their mother in faith. Mary is celebrated as the woman who pondered in her heart. Receptive to the Divine Message, she gave birth to Jesus. The Song of Mary reveals and celebrates the heart of Mary. Consider some of the verses from her song, the Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-53):

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for God has been mindful
    of the Lord’s humble servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is God’s name.
50 The Lord extends mercy to those who are devout of heart,
    from generation to generation.
51 God has performed mighty deeds;
    the Lord has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 God has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
53 The Lord has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the greedy away empty. …

Mary is more than a friend of the poor, oppressed, and rejected. She is one of them. Her remarkable openness to the shepherds of the night when Jesus was born testifies to her solidarity with the poor and lowly. Mary “listened” to them as she marveled in her heart. Who knows the child better than the mother? Yet, Mary discovers her child anew in the testimony of those with no standing in society. If we honor her, we would honor those not heard by the powerful and greedy.

Her political rhetoric and uncommon courage excite us in the cause of the disenfranchised in society. Mary’s song of devotion is a rallying cry for justice in the streets. She sees the day when God will make right that which is wrong. If we would honor her, we would be people of justice.

People of different faiths and ways of life love Mother Mary. They experience the Divine Presence in her gentle presence, fierce words, and strong love. Mary exemplifies what it means to be a person who is truly human and fully humane. Her example empowers all people to be faithful to what is right and just.

One beautiful prayer dedicated to Mary prays these transformative words:

Help me heal others with a tear, a smile, a touch or a prayer.
Grace me with kindness, love and compassion.

Her song sounds in our lives as we seek to be people of the Divine Love and Presence. Blessings to you, Holy Community, when the hymn of your heart is a tear, a smile, and a touch of prayer sung for the sake of another.