Mass of the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God and the World Day of Peace, Pope Francis indicates the "motherhood of Mary," as an antidote to the "spiritual orphan hood" that destroys our sense of belonging to a family, to a people. "Mothers are the strongest antidote to our individualistic and selfish tendencies, against our closures and apathy". "That look that frees us from orphan hood ... reminds us that we are brothers, that I belong to you, you belong to me, that we are of the same flesh."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Celebrating the Holy Mother of God reminds us that we have the Mother; we are not orphans”. Recognizing that we have a "Mother" enables us to be "a people", to "belong to each other", "it reminds us that we are brothers and sisters, that I belong to you, you belong to me, that we are of the same flesh”.
These are the themes to which Pope Francis returned many times, like a refrain, in his homily during Mass for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, and which coincides with World Day of Peace, in its 50th edition this year, with the theme “Non-violence: the style of politics for peace."
At first glance it would seem that the pontiff did not mention any aspect of his Message for the Day, but celebrating the Motherhood of Mary he highlighted the foundations for a society that is not only "non-violent", but full of "tenderness" and able to protect life , able to create a family, upon which the society he refers to in the Message is based and which is the origin of a culture of non-violence.
"Far from wanting to understand or control the situation - said the pope - Far from trying to understand or master the situation, Mary is the woman who can treasure, that is to say, protect and guard in her heart, the passage of God in the life of his people… In the Gospels, Mary appears as a woman of few words, with no great speeches or deeds, but with an attentive gaze capable of guarding the life and mission of her Son, and for this reason, of everything that he loves. She was able to watch over the beginnings of the first Christian community, and in this way she learned to be the mother of a multitude".
"To celebrate Mary as Mother of God and our mother at the beginning of the new year means recalling a certainty that will accompany our days: we are a people with a Mother; we are not orphans. Mothers are the strongest antidote to our individualistic and egotistic tendencies, to our lack of openness and our indifference. A society without mothers would not only be a cold society, but a society that has lost its heart, lost the “feel of home”. A society without mothers would be a merciless society, one that has room only for calculation and speculation. Because mothers, even at the worst times, are capable of testifying to tenderness, unconditional self-sacrifice and the strength of hope. I have learned much from those mothers whose children are in prison, or lying in hospital beds, or in bondage to drugs, yet, come cold or heat, rain or draught, never stop fighting for what is best for them. Or those mothers who in refugee camps, or even the midst of war, unfailingly embrace and support their children’s sufferings. Mothers who literally give their lives so that none of their children will perish. Where there is a mother, there is unity, there is belonging, belonging as children".
Mary's motherhood "protects us from the corrosive disease of being “spiritual orphans”. It is the sense of being orphaned that the soul experiences when it feels motherless and lacking the tenderness of God, when the sense of belonging to a family, a people, a land, to our God, grows dim. This sense of being orphaned lodges in a narcissistic heart capable of looking only to itself and its own interests. It grows when what we forget that life is a gift we have received – and owe to others – a gift we are called to share in this common home".
This "spiritual orphan hood" is " is a cancer that silently eats away at and debases the soul. We become all the more debased, inasmuch as nobody belongs to us and we belong to no one. I debase the earth because it does not belong to me; I debase others because they do not belong to me; I debase God because I do not belong to him, and in the end we debase our very selves, since we forget who we are and the divine “family name” we bear. The loss of the ties that bind us, so typical of our fragmented and divided culture, increases this sense of orphanhood and, as a result, of great emptiness and loneliness".
On the contrary, " Celebrating the feast of the Holy Mother of God makes us smile once more as we realize that we are a people, that we belong, that only within a community, within a family, can we as persons find the “climate”, the “warmth” that enables us to grow in humanity, and not merely as objects meant to “consume and be consumed”. To celebrate the feast of the Holy Mother of God reminds us that we are not interchangeable items of merchandise or information processors”.
“Jesus, at the moment of his ultimate self-sacrifice, on the cross, sought to keep nothing for himself, and in handing over his life, he also handed over to us his Mother. He told Mary: Here is your son; here are your children. We too want to receive her into our homes, our families, our communities and nations. We want to meet her maternal gaze. The gaze that frees us from being orphans; the gaze that reminds us that we are brothers and sisters, that I belong to you, that you belong to me, that we are of the same flesh. The gaze that teaches us that we have to learn how to care for life in the same way and with the same tenderness that she did: by sowing hope, by sowing a sense of belonging and of fraternity.
“Celebrating the Holy Mother of God –concluded Pope Francis - reminds us that we have a Mother. We are not orphans. We have a Mother. Together let us all confess this truth. I invite you to acclaim it three times, standing, like the faithful of Ephesus: Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God”.