MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCAST LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"Our Lady of Sorrows, disciple and mother"
Friday, April 3, 2020
There are people who are now starting to think about the after: the after the pandemic. To all the problems that will come: problems of poverty, work, hunger ... We pray for all the people who help today, but also think about tomorrow, to help us all.
This Friday of Passion, the Church remembers the pains of Mary, the Sorrowful. For centuries this veneration of the people of God has come. Hymns have been written in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows: she stood at the foot of the cross and contemplated her there, suffering. Christian piety has collected the pains of the Madonna and speaks of the "seven pains". The first, just 40 days after the birth of Jesus, the prophecy of Simeon who speaks of a sword that will pierce her heart (cf. Lk. 2,35). The second pain, think of the flight to Egypt to save the life of the Son (cf. Mt. 2,13-23). The third pain, those three days of anguish when the boy remained in the temple (cf. Lk. 2,41-50). The fourth pain, when Our Lady meets with Jesus on the way to Calvary (cf. Jn. 19:25). The fifth pain of Our Lady is the death of Jesus, to see the Son there, crucified, naked, who dies. The sixth pain, the descent of Jesus from the cross, dead, and takes him in his hands as he had taken it in his hands more than 30 years earlier in Bethlehem. The seventh pain is the burial of Jesus. And so, Christian piety follows this path of the Madonna that accompanies Jesus. It is good for me, late in the evening, when I pray to the Angelus, to pray these seven pains as a remembrance of the Mother of the Church , as the Mother of the Church gave birth to all of us with so much pain.
Our Lady never asked for anything for herself, ever. Yes, for the others: we think of Cana, when she goes to speak with Jesus. He never said: "I am the mother, look at me: I will be the queen mother". He never said it. He did not ask for anything important to her in the apostolic college. Only, accept to be a Mother. She accompanied Jesus as a disciple, because the Gospel shows that she followed Jesus: with her friends, pious women, she followed Jesus, listened to Jesus. Once someone recognized her: "Ah, here is the mother", "Your mother is here" ( cf. Mk. 3:31) ... Followed Jesus. Until Calvary. And there, standing ... people surely said: "But, poor woman, how she will suffer", and the bad guys certainly said: "But, she too is to blame, because if she had educated him well this would not have ended like this". He was there, with the Son, with the humiliation of the Son.
Honor Our Lady and say: "This is my Mother", because she is Mother. And this is the title he received from Jesus, right there, at the moment of the Cross (cf. Jn 19,26-27). Your children, you are Mother. He did not make her prime minister or give her "functionality" titles. Only "Mother". And then, the Acts of the Apostles show her in prayer with the apostles as Mother (cf. Acts 1:14). Our Lady did not want to take any title from Jesus; she received the gift of being Mother of Him and the duty to accompany us as Mother, to be our Mother. She did not ask herself to be a quasi-redeemer or a co-redeemer: no. The Redeemer is one and this title does not double. Only disciple and mother. And so, as Mother we must think of it, we must seek it, we must pray to it. It is the Mother. In the Mother Church. In the motherhood of Our Lady we see the motherhood of the Church which receives everyone, good and bad: everyone.
Today it will do us good to stop a little and think about the pain and sorrows of Our Lady. She is our mother. And how he brought them, how he brought them well, with strength, with tears: it wasn't a fake cry, it was just the heart destroyed by pain. It will do us good to stop a little and say to Our Lady: "Thank you for accepting to be Mother when the Angel told you and thank you for accepting to be Mother when Jesus told you".
Prayer to make spiritual communion:
People who cannot communicate will now make spiritual communion.
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive You sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As already come, I embrace you and I join everything with you. Don't let it ever separate me from you. Amen.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation