We are children, we are family, we are God’s People

In his January 1, 2017, homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, Pope Francis began the New Year by reminding us that “we are a people with a Mother; we are not orphans…Where there is a mother, there is unity, there is belonging, belonging as children.”

Remembering this can prevent the corrosive disease of becoming “spiritual orphans…having a narcissistic heart capable of looking only at its own interests. It grows when we forget that life is a gift we have received – and owe to others – a gift we are called to share in this common home.”

He finished by saying:

Jesus, at the moment of his ultimate self-sacrifice, on the cross, sought to keep nothing for himself, and in handing over his life, he also handed over to us his Mother.  He told Mary: Here is your son; here are your children.  We too want to receive her into our homes, our families, our communities and nations.  We want to meet her maternal gaze.  The gaze that frees us from being orphans; the gaze that reminds us that we are brothers and sisters, that I belong to you, that you belong to me, that we are of the same flesh.  The gaze that teaches us that we have to learn how to care for life in the same way and with the same tenderness that she did: by sowing hope, by sowing a sense of belonging and of fraternity.