Jan 1, 2014 / 05:12 am
Pope Francis’ homily for the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God emphasized Mary’s path of faith and hope as an example for all Christians.
“The message of hope contained in this (God’s) blessing was fully realized in a woman, Mary, who was destined to become the Mother of God, and it was fulfilled in her before any other creature,” he said on Jan. 1 to the congregation gathered for mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
“Our journey of faith is the same as that of Mary, and so we feel that she is particularly close to us.”
After the mass, Pope Francis led the traditional Angelus prayer, pausing to give a brief message for the World Day of Peace which also falls on January 1.
“On this first day of the year, the Lord helps us to journey with more decisiveness on the way of justice and of peace…peace, in fact, requires the strength of gentleness, the nonviolent strength of truth and love,” he explained.
Full text of the Pope’s homily, below:
In the first reading we find the ancient prayer of blessing which God gave to Moses to hand on to Aaron and his sons: “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Num 6:24-26). There is no more meaningful time than the beginning of a new year to hear these words of blessing: they will accompany our journey through the year opening up before us. They are words of strength, courage and hope. Not an illusory hope, based on frail human promises, or a naïve hope which presumes that the future will be better simply because it is the future. Rather, it is a hope that has its foundation precisely in God’s blessing, a blessing which contains the greatest message of good wishes there can be; and this is the message which the Church brings to each of us, filled with the Lord’s loving care and providential help. …
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