Monday, December 12, 2016

Pope Francis preaches for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Pope: Mary Teaches Us Hope, Despite All Life’s Conditions

Celebrating Mass for Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Argentine Pontiff Reminds Faithful We Have a Mother
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We have a mother, whose gaze is always on us, and whose faith we are to imitate… She teaches us to have hope despite all life’s conditions.
Pope Francis stressed this during his Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica this evening.
The ‘Icon’
In his homily, Francis stressed that Mary is the ‘icon’ of discipleship. As a believing and prayerful woman, he stressed, she knows how to accompany and encourage our faith and our hope.
In Mary, he noted, “we find the faithful reflection not of a poetically sweetened faith, but of a strong faith especially at a time when the sweet enchantments of things are broken and there are contradictions in conflict everywhere.”
From that strong and helpful faith that characterized and characterizes Mary, we are to learn, the Pontiff said, this faith “that knows how to get inside history, so as to be salt and light in our lives and in our society.”
Imitate Her Gaze
Francis went on to lament that society for future generations is marked by division, insensitivity, and disappointment. Faced with all these situations, he noted, it is even more necessary we imitate Mary and celebrate her.
What is it to ‘celebrate Mary?’ First and foremost, the Pontiff stated, it is making memory of her and remembering “that we are not and never will be an orphaned people.”
“We have a Mother! And where there is the mother, there is always the presence and flavor of home. Where there is the mother, brothers may fight but the sense of unity will always prevail…Where there is the mother, the struggle for fraternity will not be lacking.”
Hope Despite All
To celebrate the memory of Mary, he insisted, is to assert against all odds that “in the heart and life of our peoples there is a strong sense of hope, notwithstanding conditions of life that seem to overshadow all hope.”
Celebrating her, he said, we “are invited to go out and meet others with the same gaze, with the same mercy within, with their same gestures.”
“To contemplate her is to feel the strong invitation to imitate her faith.”
‘Yes’ to Life, ‘No’ to Indifference
Mary’s presence, the Pontiff reflected, “leads us to reconciliation, giving us the strength to create bonds in our blessed Latin American land, saying ‘yes’ to life and ‘no’ to all kinds of indifference, exclusion, or the rejection of peoples and persons.”
“Let us not be afraid to go out and look upon others with the same gaze.”
Like Juan Diego, he said, we are to know that our mother is with us, therefore, we should feel safe, joyful and protected.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
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