WelCom March 2018: A relationship with Mary, the mother of God, ‘is not optional’ for Christians, Pope Francis said, in a morning homily, Sunday 28 January ‘because Jesus points to her as a source of protection and guidance’.
‘Wherever people have opened their doors to Mary, wherever the Mother Mary is, turmoil will not prevail, fear will not win. Who among us doesn’t need this? Who among us is not sometimes in distress or worried?’ he asked.
The Holy Father celebrated Mass at the Basilica of St Mary Major on the feast of the formal installation of the basilica’s Marian icon, Salus Populi Romani (protectress and health of the Roman people).
The icon – to which Pope Francis is particularly devoted – had been extensively restored in time for the day’s celebration.
In his homily, Pope Francis recalled how Christians have always turned to Mary in times of trouble and difficulty.
‘How many times the heart is a stormy sea, where waves of problems swell and the winds of worry do not stop blowing? Mary is the ark, safe in the middle of a flood,’ he said.
‘It won’t be ideas or technology that gives us comfort and hope, but the face of the mother Mary – her hands caress our life, her mantle shelters us.’
Mary ‘is not optional’, he said. ‘From His cross, Jesus gave her to His disciples because He knows we need refuge and protection in the midst of so many dangers.
‘It is very dangerous for the faith to love without the mother, without protection, letting ourselves be carried along by life like leaves in the wind.’
Christians, too, become united as brothers and sisters since they are children of God the Father, and Mary, the mother, he said.
‘You can’t be neutral or detached from the mother, otherwise we lose our identity as children and as people of God.’
Source: The Record