“In order to reach Jesus – said the Pope – who is the true light and the sun that dissipates all the darkness of history, we need to have people near us who reflect the light of Christ and illuminate the way. And who is brighter than Mary? Who can be a more hopeful star than her, the aura that announced the day of salvation? (cfr Enc. Spe salvi, 49). That is why the liturgy today celebrates, just before Christmas, the magnificence of the Immaculate Conception of Mary: the mystery of God’s grace who embraced the existence of the creature destined to become the Mother of Jesus, preserving her from original sin. From her we see the grandeur and beauty of God’s project for each of us: to become saints and immaculate in love (cfr Ef 1,4), in the image of our Creator”.
The “beauty” and “sanctity” of Mary contrasts the “sadness” of “today’s youth, raised in an environment saturated with messages that propose false models of happiness. These girls and boys risk losing their hope because they often seem like orphans of true love, which fills life with significance and happiness”.
Benedict XVI seems to allude to the many news in which young children are involved in sexual abuse or are thrown into prostitution at very young ages. “Experience tells us that unfortunately, children are often victims of the corruption of love, deceived by adults without scruples leading them to dead-end streets face to face with consumption: even the most sacred things such as the human body, temple of God of love and life, becomes an object of consumption; even in pre-adolescence. It is very sad when children are no longer amazed, by the delight of the most beautiful sentiments, the value of respect for one’s own body, the manifestation of the person and of its deep mystery!”.
The Pope proposes the prayer for Mary “becoming the Mother of all mankind, Mother of hope”, as the way to save young people from desperation. A way that – he reminds – was indicated by “John Paul II, who many times named Mary, to the youth of our times, as the “Mother of great love”.
After the prayer of the Angelus, Benedict XVI greeted the Cardinal Andrea Maria Deskur and the Academy of the Immaculate, of which he is president, inviting them this afternoon to the Spanish Steps, for the annual homage to the statue of the Madonna. Earlier, the Pope reminded that today in Lourdes ha begun a special year of Jubilee for the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of the Madonna in the grotto of Massabielle.