Modern society has called for new structures that develop women’s potential to care, encourage and give life. Such a horizontal structure of relationship entails paradigms that strengthen mutual trust, harmony, cooperation, networking, and community building. These are characteristics of the servant leadership shown by Mary in the scriptures: her attentive listening, prayer pondering, sensitivity to the needs of others, desire for peace and resistance to injustice, and endurance in suffering with people and with her Redeemer Son on the Cross.
Mary was a woman of courage and strength in living out clearly her identity and mission. Her belief that “Nothing will be impossible for God” (Lk. 1:37) as “the handmaid of the Lord” enabled her to carry out her mission as mother of Jesus and to follow Him all throughout, to his paschal mystery—suffering, death, and resurrection.
Mary as the ‘mother of life’ sustains our respect for the dignity of human life in a world where a culture of death threatens both young and old. It is imperative to proclaim that all life comes from God and one’s value stems from God above all material and social honor or success. This perspective awakens the spirit of unity and peace in multi-cultural circumstances where ‘one God called by different names’ challenges all regardless of religion to a common mission to co-exist with other peoples and beliefs.
May Mary, mother of God and of all humanity inspire us to shape a community of relational servant leaders espousing peace and justice, nourishing life, keeping the order of creation, showing preferential love for the poor, and allowing the priests, religious and laity to work together, with an enhanced awareness of the gender ratio through a pastoral ministry for women and active equal participation of men and women in various group movements.