Pope: the faith of grandmothers brings the Gospel to every culture
In the pilgrimage to St Anne's Lake, Francis' homage to the maternal face of inculturation. "Also in Guadalupe it was the Mother who spoke to the Natives in their own language, without violence and impositions". "We need a Church that does not go against anyone but goes out to meet everyone".
Edmonton (AsiaNews) - The inculturation of the faith has a maternal face. And there has been no time in the history of the Church when it has not spoken the language of grandmothers. Pope Francis said this last night on a new stage of his pilgrimage among the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. After celebrating Mass in the morning in the great Edmonton stadium in front of more than 50,000 people, in the afternoon - on the feast of Saints Anne and Joachim - he went on pilgrimage to St Anne's Lake, a place dear to the spirituality of Canada's natives. A privileged place to address the theme of the encounter between the Gospel and the cultures of the peoples of the world.
A lake that Pope Francis reconnected to the Gospel lake crossed many times by Jesus in the "Galilee of the Gentiles", "the most distant place, geographically and culturally, from the religious purity, which was concentrated in Jerusalem, near the temple". "So we can think of that lake, the Sea of Galilee, as a place teeming with diversity: fishermen and tax collectors, centurions and slaves, Pharisees and the poor, men and women from a wide variety of origins and social backgrounds, all coming together on its shores.It was precisely there that Jesus preached the kingdom of God: not to a select religious congregation, but to various peoples who then, as today, flocked from different places; in a natural theatre such as this, he preached and welcomed everyone". "This lake, with all its diversity, thus became the site of an unprecedented proclamation of fraternity; not a revolution bringing death and injury in its wake, but a revolution of love.". Because 'fraternity is true if it unites the distant'.
But in this fraternity, precisely in the name of St Anne, Pope Francis wished to emphasise above all the role of women: 'in indigenous communities: they occupy a prominent place as blessed sources not only of physical but also of spiritual life. In thinking of your kokum, I also remember my own grandmother. From her, I first received the message of faith and learned that the Gospel is communicated through loving care and the wisdom of life. '.
Mothers and grandmothers are also those who help heal the wounds of the heart. "DAt the dramatic time of the conquest, Our Lady of Guadalupe transmitted the true faith to the indigenous people, speaking their own language and clothed in their own garments, without violence or imposition. Shortly afterwards, with the arrival of printing, the first grammar books and catechisms were produced in indigenous languages. How much good was done in this regard by those missionaries who, as authentic evangelizers, preserved indigenous languages and cultures in many parts of the world!'.
This, then, is what 'maternal inculturation' consists of. The Church too is a woman, a mother. In fact, there has never been a time in her history when the faith was not passed on in mother tongues, passed on by mothers and grandmothers. Yet, part of the painful legacy we are now confronting stems from the fact that indigenous grandmothers were prevented from passing on the faith in their own language and culture."
Rediscovering this face also means recognising that 'all of us, as Church, now need healing: healing from the temptation of closing in on ourselves, of defending the institution rather than seeking the truth, of preferring worldly power to serving the Gospel." "With God’s help, let us help one another in offering our own contribution to the building up of a Mother Church pleasing to him: capable of embracing each of her sons and daughters; a Church that is open to all and speaks to everyone; a Church that is against no one, and encounters everyone..
"Too often," Francis added, "we allow ourselves to be guided by the interests of a few who are comfortable. We need to look more to the peripheries and listen to the cry of the least of our brothers and sisters. We need to learn how to listen to the pain of those who, in our crowded and depersonalized cities, often silently cry out: “Don’t abandon us!” It is also the plea of the elderly who risk dying alone at home or in a nursing home. Of patients who, in place of affection, are administered death. It is the muffled plea of young people who are more interrogated than listened to, who delegate their freedom to a cell phone, while in the same streets other young people wander about, lost, aimless, prey to addictions that only make them depressed and frustrated, unable to believe in themselves or to love themselves for who they are, or to appreciate the beauty of their lives. Don’t abandon us! That is the cry of those who want a better world but do not know where to start.".
"Dear indigenous brothers and sisters," the Pope concluded, "II have come here as a pilgrim also to say to you how precious you are to me and to the Church. I want the Church to be intertwined among us, as tightly woven as the threads of the colored bands that many of you wear. May the Lord help us to move forward in the healing process, towards an ever more healthy and renewed future."