Rome(AsiaNews) – In the day of the Immaculate Conception, Benedict XVI calls on Mary to give every person of this world “the strength to reject evil in every form and choose what is good, even if it has a price and means going against the flow.” In renewing the traditional homage the bishop of Rome pays to Mary in Piazza di Spagna, before the column bearing the statute dedicated to Our Lady, the Pope stressed the “message” that she gives us, namely Jesus.
Carrying a basket of white roses, Benedict XVI said that the “best gift we can offer, and the one she likes the most, is our prayer, which we bear in our hearts with trust in her intercession. They are appeals of thanksgiving and supplication, thanksgiving for the gift of faith and for everything good we receive daily from God, and supplication for the various necessities, for the family, health, work, and every hardship life brings to us. But when we come here, especially on 8 December, what we receive from Mary is much more important than what we can offer. She, in fact, gives us the message destined for each one of us, for the City of Rome and the whole world.”
“And what does Mary tell us? She speaks to us with the Word of God that was made flesh in her womb. Her ‘message’ is nothing other than Jesus, he who was all her life. [. . .] Thus Mary tells us that we are called to open up to the action of the Holy Spirit to become, in our final destiny, immaculate, fully and definitely free from evil.”
“Mary gives us this message, and when I come here, on this feast day, I am struck because I feel it is addressed to the entire city, to all the men and women who live in Rome, even those who do not think about it, or do not know that today is the feast day of the Immaculate, who feel lonely and abandoned. Mary’s gaze is that of God looking upon everyone. She looks upon us with the love of the Father and blesses us. She acts like our ‘advocate”, and so in the Salve Regina we invoke her, the ‘Advocata Nostra’. Even if everyone should speak badly about her, she, the Mother, would say good things because her immaculate heart is in synch with God’s mercy. [. . .] The Mother looks upon us as God did upon her, the humble maiden of Nazareth, insignificant to the eyes of the world, but chosen by God and precious to him. In everyone, she sees a resemblance with her Son Jesus, even if we are so different! But who more than she knows the power of divine grace? Who better than she knows that nothing is impossible to God, who can even bring good out of evil?”
“This is the message we receive today, at the feet of Mary Immaculate. It is a message of confidence for each person in this city and the entire world. It is a message of hope not made of words, but drawn from her own history. She, a woman from our lineage, who gave birth to the Son of God and shared her existence with Him. Today, she tells us, this is also your destiny, everyone’s destiny, to be saintly like our Father, immaculate like our Brother Jesus Christ, loved children, all adopted to be part of a big family, without boundaries of nationality, colour or language, because there is only one God, who is Father to every man.”
Photo: credit CPP