We sons of Mary want to embody Her Virtues
Matthew’s Gospel, chap. 1, verses 18-23
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 8, 2019
Homily of the Pontiff Samuel
Today we live this day of celebration, which gives us the opportunity to contemplate, once again, Mary, the mystery of Mary. And for us this is a great feast because this Church is deeply devoted to Mary. We all are Her sons and we proudly declare ourselves children of Mary, children of this Mother. And we want to bring our devotion to Mary, this good and tender Mother, to all the world, so that the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart, without blemish, may return to the centre of the life of all those who declare themselves Christians, belonging to Christ.
No one can say to love Christ without loving Mary profoundly. And so, in the moment in which we love Mary we love Christ. There is an inseparable union between Christ and Mary, between Mary and Christ.
Even the Gospel proclaimed today (Mt 1:18-23) tells us about the birth of Christ. The Gospel says nothing about the birth of Mary. Nothing is written about this. And therefore we meditate the birth of Christ so then to return – and meditate – to the moment when this creature, this little Girl has come to the light. Without now lingering over the exact time in which this happened, we want to focus on the essence and the substance of that moment, this moment, that we want to live and actualize in order to contemplate the most beautiful Work of the Creator: Mary, the most beautiful Work, the Masterpiece of God.
Today we want to meditate on this. And we want to meditate it in order to actualize, as far as we can, all what Mary represents for Christianity and for us Her sons, so that each of us may be ever more motivated and encouraged to imitate Her virtues, and to put into practice all that Mary did, all that Mary represents for the history of salvation. Christ and Mary, Mary and Christ: Christ the Redeemer, Mary the Coredemptrix (Lk 2:34-35).
Mary is part of the history of salvation. The Father has crowned Her as Queen of Heaven and Earth and we know that Mary, with Her Son, for Her Son and in Her Son, saves. Mary, conceived before Time (Pr 8:23-30), since ever known by the Father, has been for this reason preserved from original sin, from every stain of sin, and has from ever been in relationship with the Creator. This is why the very moment She opened Her eyes and uttered the first cry, all Creation exulted. From that moment on, the history of salvation began, because through this Child, this Woman, the Saviour would have come to this humanity (Lk 1:30-33; Rev 12:5) and He could have made Himself known, so to attract everyone to Himself, and to trace the Path that all God’s sons would have had to follow in order to reach salvation in a direct way (Lk 1:68-71).
Here is the union between the Mother and the Son, between the Son and the Mother. A union that has never been broken and that will never brake, because the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of Mary are alive. A living Spirit that proceeds in history to enter the hearts of all those who want to totally imitate Christ, and the hearts of those who want to totally imitate Mary.
Great is the mystery of Mary, She who the Father has wanted to give us, and that He has wanted to give Himself. He wanted to give Himself a Mother and He didn’t want to keep Her for Himself; but He has wanted to give Her to us (Jn 19:26-27), so that Mary could have been acknowledged as universal Mother, not only as Queen – and She is Queen – but also as the universal Mother, Mother of all the living beings, of all that lives, of all that is, because Mary is. And this is what is important.
Those who want to live the Spirit of Mary are to come here. Those who are searching and want to investigate everything concerning Mary, every detail of Her life, of Her existence, are to come here, in this House, where the Spirit, who issues from the Father and the Son, is alive, and is in Mary; and here they will find every answer to whatever question. And they will no longer wander to search, to investigate; but here they will find every answer because in this Place the Father has established the fulfilment of His whole Project, which leads us all to salvation.
Here then is this Maiden, She who wanted to be a servant, who remained humble. This is why the Father, looking upon the humility of Her heart, the purity of Her heart, has sort Her among all women (Lk 1:46-49) and so He made Her live as Daughter, as Bride and as Mother, in order to give us a living example to be imitated, and then to be contemplated as Queen and Coredemptrix, to make people understand how grace can do everything when the heart is widely opened, when there is the will to become little in the eyes of a world that looks to else. Whoever wants to be little, whoever wants to stay small for the love of God, as Mary did, can do everything through Him, the One who can do everything.
Here is the example that this woman gives us to the fullest extent. Mary example of prayer and Mary example of brotherhood. Prayer and brotherhood, so dear to this Church. When we gather in prayer, we invoke Mary, we are immediately in Communion with the Son and with the Father, because Mary paves the way and leads us to the Father’s Heart. Whoever takes Mary’s hand has already undertaken the path that leads to the Father’s Heart.
Here is the living prayer that is to gush out from the hearts of Mary’s sons. And we know which is the prayer par excellence that brings us and binds us to Mary: the prayer of the Holy Rosary, that we all, now more than ever, must hold tightly in our hands, in our hearts, day and night, to be able to use this weapon that the Father, through Mary, gives us in these hard and difficult times, to be able to remove and defeat every evil force. The most powerful prayer, the Holy Rosary: that prayer that leads us, that unites us to the Heart of Mary, and thereby with the Heart of the Son and the Heart of the Father.
Jesus said to His Maiden, Maria Giuseppina Norcia, She who embodied in Her life the virtues of Mary Most Holy, the One through whom we have even more learned how to love Mary Most Holy – looking at Her eyes, at Her Heart, it’s even easier to contemplate Mary’s eyes, to contemplate the Heart of Mary Most Holy (this is why we venerate this Woman, because through Her we have touched with hands the virtues of Mary Most Holy) – well, Jesus revealed Her: «Every time you recite the Holy Rosary you are immersed in the immaculate bosom of the Mother, who imprints My image in you. In these hard times it’s necessary to always have the Holy Rosary beads in your hands, day and night, because through this prayer the Mother carries out Her divine motherhood upon each one of you, namely She creates my divine humanity in you. Its power can be compared to the Divine Eucharist. It’s a formidable weapon against the powers of darkness: gather together in the prayer of the Holy Rosary and you will be as in Paradise, far from the worries, the doubts and the torments of the world».
Therefore, the more these words incarnate (Jn 1:14) in our hearts, the more our devotion to Mary and to the prayer that Mary left us, the Holy Rosary, will grow. This Church, that is profoundly Marian, profoundly devoted to Mary, dedicates the month of October to the Holy Rosary, but this prayer is to be said every day by those who want to remain united to Mary, by those who want to be joined to Her Heart. And I say this to everyone but above all to you, dear young people: use the Rosary, keep it always with you and in the moments of difficulty, in the moments of trial, hold it tightly: pray the Holy Rosary so to be united even more with She who is Mother. This is true for all those who want to continue to be young at heart, regardless of age, and for all those who want to incessantly look forward and do not retreat looking to the past (Dt 30:17; Lk 9:62), thinking that there is little ahead yet to do, but this is not so, and I say to all of you: let’s look ahead, certain of the path we are walking on, certain of the target we must reach (Rev 21:4-6).
Here is that, in these hard and difficult times, the more we will remain united to Mary’s Heart, and united in the prayer of the Holy Rosary to Her Immaculate Heart, the more we will remove the doubts and worries that this world brings us continually. Therefore, combining prayer with fraternal union, every trial will be overcome. Here is that the brotherhood becomes fundamental as well as prayer, in the union with prayer, as Jesus revealed to His Maiden in His Revelation called “Catechesis” that now we can meditate in depth for it’s being made public, made available by this Church. It too speaks of the importance of Mary. «Another effective means is the union with the brothers and with Mary – says Jesus – Mine and your Mother, key of the mystery of your life and of the mystery of My life in you». Mary is the key, Mary allows us to open every door, the door of the heart, to be able to understand the mystery of our life – which in Mary becomes alive and comprehensible – and to understand the mystery of the life of Jesus in each of us (Jn 3:16). Here is that, meditating on Mary, contemplating Mary, joining Mary, joining our brothers and sisters, everything becomes easy.
Peter, in the moment he fell, went to Mary, wept with Mary, along with his brothers. And he found consolation in Mary. And through Mary, he recovered and returned to be that Stone (Mt 16:18) that Jesus said he would have been for the nascent Christianity. The Father doesn’t withdraw His call when, even those who make mistakes, have the courage to repent (Mt 26:75; Mk 14:72; Jn 21:15-17), to weep with Mary and the brothers and so to start again. This is a teaching that this Mother gives us continually to welcome us into Her Heart, to allow us to experience God’s mercy that is alive in this Land. Land of Love, Land of the infinite mercy of God, Marian Land, blessed by the Father, as John Paul II prophetically said when he came to visit this land on September 16, 2001, when we, faithful of the Little Cradle of Baby Jesus, went to honour this Pontiff, who said: «Truly, this land of ‘Ciociaria’ is a Marian land». The Spirit spoke through that heart on that day: Marian Land, in which Mary’s virtues take flesh and are alive.
And this is what we are all called to do today: to embody Her virtues. The first virtue: that of Loyalty (Heb 3:2; Rev 3:14; 19:11). Just as Mary has always been faithful to Her Lord, we are called to be faithful to God, to the One and Triune God, without being led astray by those who today would like to lead us to equate Christianity to other religious confessions or to other religious philosophies that are not in communion with the Father’s Heart. Here is the subtle deception that is making many fall, because in another house it is now said that we are all equally “sons” of God. But this is not so. “Son” of God is one who marries Christ, who is baptized in the name of Christ, who is united with Christ and with Mary (Jn 1:12; Gal 3:26-27). Here is Mary’s Faithfulness, which must be our loyalty in these hard and difficult times, so to remain anchored in the only doctrine that saves: Christ.
And so, in addition to the virtue of Faithfulness, we are to embody the virtue of Humility that are the basis and foundation for every Christian, for every children of Christ and of Mary. We must incarnate the holy Force of those who never lose heart, of those who are never discouraged. And we therefore must contemplate and embody the Sweetness that is alive in Mary and that must be alive in all those who are sons of Mary, especially in all girls and women who want to be Mary’s handmaids, in order to manifest that Sweetness and that Simplicity which distance every malice and every non-holy exuberance, every filthiness.
In doing so, we will make the virtues of Mary live in each of us, so to be today true men and above all true women, and so that the woman, looking at Mary, may return to be the centre of the everyday life and of the life of the Church.
Those women who want to become saints, are to look to Mary and to totally imitate Her virtues, and thus to be lifted up by the Father, the same way He did with Mary Most Holy (Lk 1:48b).
Here is the teaching that today, in this celebration, we live again in this Woman, so that we all together may contemplate Mary, completely imitate Her so to be able to totally incarnate Her virtues.
And so be it.