Let Us Imitate Mary and Make Room for God in Our Lives

VATICAN CITY, SEP 12, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father flew this morning from Bratislava to Banska Bystrica, 190 kilometers northeast of the capital and then travelled by car to National Risorgimento Square where he concelebrated Mass at 10:30 a.m. Catholics were joined in the celebration for the memorial of the Holy Name of Mary by Christians of other Protestant ecclesial communities.

The Pope remarked that «the place where we are assembled is especially meaningful in the history of your city. It calls to mind the respect and devotion of your ancestors towards Almighty God and the Blessed Virgin Mary. At the same time it recalls the attempt to profane this precious inheritance, perpetrated by a bleak regime of not so many years ago. To all of this the column of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a silent witness.»

He then referred to the Gospel passage where Mary «speaks to the Angel Gabriel who communicates to her God's call to become the mother of His Son. The Incarnation of the Word is the decisive moment in that 'project' made known by God from the beginning of human history, after the first sin. His will is to communicate to mankind His very life, by calling men and women to become his children. This call awaits the response of each person. God does not impose salvation; he proposes it as an initiative of love, to which one must reply by free choice, prompted by love.»

What is the lesson for us in Mary's immediate willingness to obey the Lord, asked the Pope. «Mary shows us the path towards a mature freedom. In our days, many baptized Christians have not yet made the faith their own in an adult and conscious way. They call themselves Christians and yet they do not respond in a fully responsible way to the grace they have received; they still do not know what they want and why they want it.»

«This is the lesson to be learned today: an education to freedom is urgently needed. Especially in the family, parents must educate their children to a correct freedom, so as to prepare them to respond properly to God's call. The family is the nursery where the little plants, the new generations, are nurtured. In the family the future of the Nation is forged.»

«Mary believes and therefore she says 'yes'. Her faith becomes life; it becomes a commitment to God, Who fills her with Himself through her divine motherhood. It becomes a commitment to her neighbour, who awaits her help in the person of her cousin Elizabeth.»

«My dear Brothers and Sisters,» John Paul II concluded, «let us make room for God! In the variety and richness of diverse vocations, each one is called, like Mary, to accept God into one's own life and to travel along the paths of the world with Him, proclaiming His Gospel and bearing witness to His love.»

Vatican Information Service
12. september 2003

av Webmaster publisert 12.09.2003, sist endret 12.09.2003 - 21:06