Let us ask Our Lady, the Gate of Heaven, for the grace to begin each day by raising our eyes to Heaven, toward God, to say to Him: "Thank you!” as the lowly ones say to the great ones. “Thank you”'". “Today I would like to pray in particular for the difficult situation in Nigeria, hit by terrorism”. Finally, Francis addresses an appeal to Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, involved in negotiations on the Nile, which is a "river of peace".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - “ Going to the moon serves us little if we do not live as brothers and sisters on Earth. But that one of us dwells in the flesh in Heaven gives us hope: we understand that we are precious, destined to rise again”. Together with "putting God first" is what, in the words of Pope Francis, inspires today's feast of the Assumption of Mary.
In fact, Francis said to some thousands of people present in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus that "When man set foot on the moon, he said a phrase that became famous: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. In essence, humanity had reached a historical goal. But today, in Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, we celebrate an infinitely greater conquest. The Madonna has set foot in paradise: she went there not only in spirit, but with her body as well, with all of herself ”.
This step of the lowly Virgin of Nazareth was the huge leap forward for humanity. Going to the moon serves us little if we do not live as brothers and sisters on Earth. But that one of us dwells in the flesh in Heaven gives us hope: we understand that we are precious, destined to rise again. God does not allow our bodies to vanish into nothing. With God, nothing is lost! In Mary, the goal has been reached and we have before our eyes the reasons why we journey: not to gain the things here below, which vanish, but to achieve the homeland above, which is forever. And Our Lady is the star that guides us. She went there first. She, as the Council teaches, shines “as a sign of sure hope and solace to the People of God during its sojourn on earth” (Lumen gentium, 68)".
“Mary, in fact, acknowledges that she is small and exalts the “great things” (v. 49) the Lord has done for her. What are they? First and foremost, the unexpected gift of life: Mary is a virgin yet she becomes pregnant; and Elizabeth, too, who was elderly, is expecting a child. The Lord works wonders with those who are lowly, with those who do not believe that they are great but who give ample space to God in their life. He enlarges His mercy to those who trust in Him, and raises up the humble. Mary praises God for this”.
“And we - we can ask ourselves - do we remember to praise God? Do we thank him for the great things he does for us? For every day he gives us, why does he love us and always forgive us, for his tenderness? And again, for having given us his Mother, for the brothers and sisters he puts us on the path, why did Heaven open to us? If we forget the good, the heart shrinks. But if, like Mary, we remember the great things the Lord does, if we magnify him at least once a day, then we take a big step forward. Praise God. With this little prayer, the heart will expand, the joy will increase. Let us ask Our Lady, gate of Heaven, for the grace to start each day by looking up at the sky, towards God, to say to him: 'Thank you!' ".
And after the recitation of the Marian prayer, the Pope said that " The Virgin Mary, whom we contemplate today in heavenly glory, is the “Mother of hope”. This title of hers has been recently included in the Litany of Loreto. Let us invoke her intercession for all the situations in the world that are most in need of hope: hope for peace, for justice, hope for a dignified life.
“Today I would like to pray in particular for the population of the northern region of Nigeria, victim of violence and terrorist attacks."
Finally, Francis addressed an appeal to Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, involved in negotiations on the Nile, which is a "river of peace"