“We are not orphans: we have a Mother in Heaven, who is the Holy Mother of God.”
Pope Francis stressed this during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, as he continued his catecheses on Christian hope.
Reflecting this time on the theme: “The Mother of Hope” (Cf. John 19:25-27), Francis noted, “We all love Mary as Mother.”
“She teaches us the virtue of waiting, even when everything appears nonsensical: she is always confident in the mystery of God, even when He seems to eclipse Himself because of the evil in the world.”
“In moments of difficulty,”he encouraged, we are to turn to Mary, for she is “the Mother that Jesus gave all of us, always able to support our steps, always be able to say to our heart: ‘Rise! Look ahead, look at the horizon.'”
She can do so, Francis explained, “because she is Mother of hope.”
Not a Simple ‘ Yes’
It was not simple to answer the Angel’s invitation with a “yes,” Francis pointed out. “Yet she, a woman still in the flower of youth, answered courageously, despite not knowing anything of the destiny that awaited her.
“In that instant, Mary appears to us as one of the many mothers of our world, courageous to the end when it is about receiving in their womb the story of a new man that is born.”
Mary’s “yes” is the first step of a long list of obedience, the Pope pointed out, noting her strong silent strength and the suffering she had to endure.
Even when Mary “was” in the densest darkness, she stayed and did not go away, he noted. “Every time that a lighted candle must be held in a place of mist and fog,” Mary is there, faithfully present, he said.
Suffering Silent Strength
“The sufferings of mothers,” Francis exclaimed, acknowledging, “we have all known strong women, who have faced so many sufferings of their children!”
In the midst of that community of such frail disciples: one had denied, many fled, all were afraid (Cf. Acts 1:14), she was simply there.
He reminded all present how she is there for them too, as their mother, and that the hope she offers does not disappoint.
Toward the conclusion of his remarks to Italian pilgrims the Pope noted: “Next Saturday, will be the centenary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima to the three little shepherds.”
“Dear young people,” he encouraged, “learn to cultivate devotion to the Mother of God with the daily recitation of the Rosary; dear sick, feel Mary’s presence in the hour of the cross; and you, dear newlyweds, pray to her so that love and mutual respect will never be lacking in your home.”
The General Audience ended with the singing of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.