Church is a mother who guides her children says Pope Francis
Addressing the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to hear his weekly address, Pope Francis began by noting that “In our catechesis, we have often noted that we do not become a Christian on our own, but by being born and nurtured in the faith in the midst of the People of God, that is the Church.” In his homely, he continued his catechesis on the Church, turning to the aspect of her maternity, of which the Virgin Mary is a model encouraging us to reach out to our brothers and sisters.
The Church is a "mother" that offers children the gospel and the grace of the sacraments, guiding them on the path of salvation and defend them against the dangers arising from the presence of Satan in the world, to bring them encounter with Jesus. “She nourishes and sustains us with the sacraments; she illuminates us with the light of the Gospel, orients us to the good, encourages us in moments of darkness and defends us from the snares of evil, exhorting us to vigilance so as not to succumb to its seductions.”
Pointing to the mother of Jesus, the Roman Pontiff explained that “The model of maternity for the Church is the Virgin Mary” who “in the fullness of time conceived through the Holy Spirit and gave birth to the Son of God.” “Her motherhood continues through the Church, who brings forth sons and daughters through baptism, whom she nourishes through the Word of God,” he said. “The birth of Jesus in the womb of Mary as firstborn of many brothers is a prelude of the new life that Christians receive in baptism.”
Going on, the Bishop of Rome observed how Jesus gave the Gospel to the Church in order to bring forth new life by generously proclaiming his word and winning other sons and daughters for God our Father. As a mother, he explained, the Church nurtures us throughout life by illuminating our path with the light of the Gospel and by sustaining us with the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist.
Concluding his address, Pope Francis explained that since we are all a part of the Church, we have the call to live this same spiritual, maternal attitude toward our brothers and sisters. “Let's not forget that in the Church we are all baptized, and that her maternity is also expressed in our ability to welcome, to forgive, and to install courage and hope.”
He then invited all present to invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, praying that we can learn from her that tenderness which allows us to be witnesses of maternity of the Church. Following his reflections, the Roman Pontiff extended greetings to groups of pilgrims present from various countries around the world, including Ireland, Malta, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Canada, the United States, Cuba, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, etc.
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