Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - There is a deep relationship, "a nexus" between the Jesus’ Mother and the priesthood, between Mary and all the priests who, like St. John, "are called to accept her into their home," which means "make her part of the dynamism of their entire existence, in all that constitutes the horizon of their apostolate. " This was Benedict XVI’s message on the eve of the Solemnity of the Assumption, in this Year for Priests, to 4 thousand people in the inner courtyard of the papal palace of Castel Gandolfo for the general audience and to the thousands who, unable to fit into the inner courtyard, were in the square outside.
At the end of the meeting, the Pope also expressed his "spiritual closeness" to "many people in recent days that have been affected by the violent typhoon in the Philippines, Taiwan, in some provinces of south-eastern China and in Japan, a country, also tried by a strong earthquake”. “I call on everyone to pray for them - he added - and for those who lost their lives. I hope that the relief of solidarity and the help of material aid will not be lacking”.
Speaking to those present, the Pope also pointed to the mystery of the Incarnation, "God does not act against our freedom" and that when he decided to become man "he needed the yes of his creatures” he was “dependent on the yes of one of his creatures”.
The Incarnation, he then said, "is intended from the outset as a gift of self", so "sacrifice, the priesthood and Incarnation go together and Mary is at the heart of this mystery”. Benedict XVI continued, saying that from the cross, Jesus sees his Mother and the beloved apostle, a very important individual, but more important he is a prefiguration of all loved people, all the disciples and especially all priests. " "It's a kind of testament”, Jesus entrusts his mother to the care of the disciple to his mother this child.
Following in the footsteps of St. John, for the priest "is not a formal thing”, but the call to introduce Mary "into the dynamism of ones entire existence, in all that constitutes the horizon of ones apostolate”. It is thus easy to understand the primary source, “the fundamental reason for the predilection Mary feels for each one of them, because just as Jesus was, they too are close to her heart, because like her they are committed to witnessing and spreading the saving love of Christ in the world. "
“The Curé d'Ars, who we think of this year especially, loved to repeat that after Jesus Christ gave us everything he could give, he wanted to make us heirs of what was most precious to him, his holy mother. This applies to all Christians, but especially for priests”. This is why "every priest can and should truly feel himself to be the son of this most holy and most humble mother."
And with a greeting of "happy holidays", "enjoy the day, enjoy the sun, enjoy a good rest", the Pope took his leave of those present.