Pope Francis presided on Wednesday 1st. January 2020, in the Basilica of St. Peter of the Vatican, the Mass of the Solemnity of St Mary The Mother of God, on the eighth of Christmas when the Church celebrated World Day of Peace, which this year was developed under the theme “Peace as a path of hope: dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion”.
In his homily, the Pontiff emphasized the importance of Mary, as Mother of God, in the history of salvation. “In God will be forever our humanity and Mary will be the Mother of God forever. She’s a woman and a mother, this is the bottom line. From her, woman, salvation arose and therefore there is no salvation without the woman. There God joined with us and, if we want to unite with Him, we must go the same way: through Mary, woman and mother.” In line with the theme of this dossier, Word New takes up for its readers, this important document.
“When the fulness of time came, God sent his Son, born of woman” (Gal 4.4). Born of woman: this is how Jesus came. He did not appear in the world as an adult, but as the Gospel has told us, he was “conceived” in the womb (Lk 2:21): there he made our humanity his own, day after day, month after month. In the womb of a woman, God and humanity came together never to part again. Also now, in heaven, Jesus lives in the flesh he took in his mother’s womb. In God is our human flesh.
On the first day of the year we celebrate these desposorios between God and man, inaugurated in the womb of a woman. In God our humanity will be forever and Mary will be the Mother of God forever. She’s a woman and a mother, this is the bottom line. From her, woman, salvation arose and therefore there is no salvation without the woman. There God joined with us and, if we want to unite with Him, we must go the same way: through Mary, woman and mother. For this reason, we begin the year under the sign of Our Lady, the woman who woven the humanity of God. If we want to humanely weave the plots of our time, we must start from women again.
Born to a woman. The rebirth of humanity began with women. Women are a source of life. However, they are continually offended, beaten, raped, induced to prostitute thee and eliminate the life they lead in their womb. Every violence inflicted on women is a desecration of God, born of a woman. Salvation for humanity came from a woman’s body: how we treat women’s bodies understand our level of humanity. How many times the woman’s body is sacrificed on the profane altars of publicity, profit, pornography, exploited as a land to use. He must be freed from consumerism, he must be respected and honored. It is the noblest flesh in the world, for he conceived and gave birth to the Love that has saved us. Today, motherhood is also humiliated, because the only growth that interests it is economic growth. There are mothers who risk making painful journeys to desperately try to give a better future to the fruit of their entrails, and who are regarded as numbers that overxcete the quota by people who have a full stomach, but things, and an empty heart of love.
Born to a woman. According to the biblical narrative, the woman appears at the apex of creation, as a summary of everything created. In fact, it contains in itself the end of creation itself: the generation and protection of life, communion with everything, taking care of everything. It is what Our Lady does in the Gospel today. “Mary, for her part,” says the text, “kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (v. 19). He kept everything: joy at the birth of Jesus and sadness for the hospitality denied in Bethlehem; Joseph’s love and the astonishment of the shepherds; promises and uncertainties of the future. He took everything seriously and put everything in his place in his heart, even adversity. Because in his heart he would fix everything with love and entrust everything to God.
In the Gospel we find for the second time this action of Mary: at the end of Jesus’ hidden life it is said, in fact, that “his mother kept all this in her heart” (v. 51). This repetition makes us understand that keeping in our hearts is not a good gesture that Our Lady made from time to time, but a habit. It’s the woman’s own to take life seriously. The woman states that the meaning of life is not to continue to produce things, but to take seriously those that are already there. Only those who look with their hearts see well, because they know how to “see in depth” the person beyond his mistakes, the brother beyond his frailties, hope in the midst of difficulties, God in everything.
At the beginning of the new year, let us ask ourselves, “Can I look with my heart, can I look with my heart at people? Do I care about the people I live with, or do I destroy them with murmuring? And above all, do I have the Lord at the center of my heart, or do I have other values, other interests, my promotion, the riches, the power?” Only if life is important to us will we know how to care for it and overcome the indifference that surrounds us. Let us ask for this grace: to live the year with the desire to take others seriously, to care for others. And if we want a better world, that it is a house of peace and not a playground, that we care about the dignity of every woman. From a woman was born the Prince of Peace. Women are donors and peace mediators and must be fully involved in decision-making processes. Because when women can pass on their gifts, the world is more united and more at peace. Therefore, a conquest for women is a conquest for all mankind.
Born to a woman. Jesus, a newborn, reflected in the eyes of a woman, on her mother’s face. From her he received the first caresses, with which he exchanged the first smiles. With it he inaugurated the revolution of tenderness. The Church, looking at the baby Jesus, is called to continue it. In fact, like Mary, she too is a woman and mother, the Church is a woman and a mother, and in Our Lady she finds her distinctive features. He sees her immaculately, and feels called to say “no” to sin and worldhood. He sees her fruitful and feels called to proclaim the Lord, to generate him in life. She sees her mother, and feels called to welcome every man as a son.
Approaching Mary, the Church finds herself, finds her center, finds her unity. Instead, the enemy of human nature, the devil, tries to divide it, bringing to the fore the differences, ideologies, partisan thoughts and sides. But we cannot understand the Church if we look at it from its structures, from programs and trends, from ideologies, from functionalities: we will perceive something of it, but not its heart. Because the Church has the heart of a mother. And we, children, invoke today the Mother of God, who gathers us as a believing people. Oh, Mother, it generates in us hope, bring us unity. Woman of salvation, we entrust you this year, take care of it in your heart. We hail you: Holy Mother of God! Together, for three times, let us hail the Lady, standing, our Lady the Holy Mother of God [with the assembly]: Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God!