Vatican City ( AsiaNews ) - The
Church "is not a shop, a humanitarian agency , an NGO , the Church , like
Mary, is sent to bring all people to Christ and his Gospel , this is the
Church: she does not bring herself, big
or small, strong or weak, she brings Jesus". "This
is how the Church must be, this is the center of the Church. If once,
hypothetically speaking, the Church fails to bring Jesus , that's a dead church
Continuing catechesis on the
Church, Pope Francis spoke today of "Mary image of the Church "
following the affirmation in Lumen Gentium : "the mother of God is the
figure of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with
Christ " .
were almost 100 thousand people present in St Peter's Square for the audience
and as has become tradition the Pope toured among them at length in his open
topped jeep, blessing , kissing children and shaking hands . Today
he also signed an autograph for a young man, apparently Japanese and climbed
down from the jeep to hug and greet an old woman in a wheelchair. Greeting
him as he climbed the steps of the walk front of the basilica were a group of standard
bearers from Siena.
The Pope began with Mary as a
model of faith. "We
think about who the Virgin Mary was: a Jewish girl, who was waiting with all
her heart for the redemption of her people. But in that heart of a young
daughter of Israel there was a secret that she still did not know: in the
design of God's
love she was destined to become the Mother of the Redeemer . "From the
moment in which she answers "yes" to the angel", the faith of
Mary receives a new light : it focuses on Jesus , the Son of God who took flesh
from her and in whom promises are fulfilled in the entire history of salvation .
Mary's faith is the fulfillment of Israel's faith, the entire journey, the
entire journey of the people of faith, waiting for the redemption is
concentrated in her, and in this sense she is the model of faith of the Church
, which is
centered on Christ , the incarnation of the infinite love of God".
Mary lived this faith "in
the simplicity of the thousand daily occupations and concerns of every mother,
how to provide food, clothing, household care ... ". Her
"yes", "already perfect in the beginning, grew until the hour of
the Cross. And there her motherhood spread embracing each of us, our life , to
lead us to her Son . Mary has always lived surrounded by
the mystery of God made man, as his first and perfect disciple , pondering in
her heart everything in the light of the Holy Spirit, to understand and put
into practice God's will. We can ask ourselves a question : do we let ourselves
be enlightened by the faith of
Mary, who is our Mother ? Or do we think her far too different from us? In
times of difficulty, trial, darkness, do we look to her as a model of trust in
God, who wants to always and only our good? Think about it. Perhaps we would do
well to see Mary as a model and figure of the Church in the faith that she had".
For the second aspect of "Mary,
model of charity," the Pope pointed to "her care for her cousin Elizabeth
. Visiting her, the Virgin Mary not only brought material help, too, but took
Jesus , who was already living in
her womb. Bringing Jesus to that house meant to bring joy, full joy. Zechariah
and Elizabeth were happy for a pregnancy that seemed impossible at their age,
but it is the young Mary who brings their full joy, that which comes from Jesus
and the Holy Spirit , and is expressed in charity freely given, sharing,
helping, understanding". "The
Madonna wants to bring to us, to all of us , the great gift that is Jesus, and
He leads us with his love , his peace, his joy. So the Church is like
Mary," it brings Jesus.
we are the Church , but each of us, What is the love we bear others? Is it the
love of Jesus , sharing , forgiving , which accompanies, or is it a diluted love?
When wine is diluted so it seems like water. I this how we love or is it a strong
or weak love that follows trends, which seeks something in exchange? A love
that seeks its own interests". "Love
must be love free , as was the His love. How are the relationships in our parishes,
in our communities ? Do we treat others as brothers and sisters or do we judge
, speak evil of one another ? But I
've heard that here in Rome nobody speaks ill of others, and is that true? ' I
do not know . I say it is. Do we take care of our own ' backyard ' or that of
others? These are questions of charity".
life of every ecclesial community - concluded the Pope - should be reflected in
the model of Mary Mother of the Church ."