Friday, October 25, 2013

Translation: Pope Francis' Homily, from Wednesday Audience, 10/23/13, Vatican City

Translators notes:

- This is a translation of the homily of Pope Francis' General Audience on Saint Peter's Square, in Vatican City, on October 23, 2013. i was present to hear this homily in person, but i think translated it from The Vatican's published transcript in Italian. From what i can tell, The Vatican offers no translation of these homilies into English. Instead, for this audience at least, the offers only a very brief summary in English. As far as i know a translation of this homily to English does not exist anywhere else on the internet.

- i have left all capitalization and italics the way The Vatican put them in their Italian transcript. For reasons of clarity, i have added some punctuation to bring the translation closer to English rules and sense. i have left the paragraph structures the same as the Italian.

- i have taken the liberty of adding bold-faced highlighting to indicate my favorite parts of the text. It is these parts that inspired me to translate this homily first for my clients, and now for you, my PaxRyan Blog readers. :-) You can see my photos of Pope Francis here and read about my experience there.

Pope Francis on Saint Peter's Square
General Audience, Wednesday, Oct. 2013
"Pope Francis
General Audience
Saint Peter's Square
Wednesday, 23 October 2013

'Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Continuing the teaching on the Church, today I would like to look at Mary as image and model of the Church. I take her as an expression of The Second Vatican Council. The Constitution, Lumen Gentium, says, "As Saint Ambrogio taught, Mary the Mother of God is the figure of the Church in the order of faith, of charity, and of perfect union with Christ." (Lumen Gentium, 63)

1. Let's begin with the first aspect, Mary as model of faith. In what sense does Mary represent a model for faith in the Church? Let's think about who Mary was: a Jewish girl, that was expecting with all of her heart the redemption of her people. But in the heart of that young daughter of Israel, there was a secret that not even she herself knew yet: in the loving plans of God, she was destined to become the Mother of the Savior. In the Annunciation, the Messenger of God called her "full of grace," and revealed this plan. Mary responded "Yes," and from that moment of faith, Mary receives a new light: she centers herself on Jesus, the Son of God that took flesh from her, and this completes promise of all history, of salvation. The faith of Mary is the fulfillment of the faith of Israel. All of the path, all of the road of that people that had been waiting for redemption is centered in her. And in this sense she is the model of the faith of the Church, that has Christ as its center, the incarnation of infinite love of God.

How did Mary live this faith? She lived it in the simplicity of the thousands of occupations and worries of every mother in daily life, such as how to take care of the food, the clothes, the care of the house... Precisely this normal existence of the Madonna was the terrain that would reveal her singular relationship and dialogue between her and God, between her and her Son. The "Yes" of Mary, already perfect from the beginning, grew until the hour of the Cross. There her maternity spread wide, hugging each of us, our life, to guide her Son. Mary lived always immersed in the mystery of God turned to man, as his first and perfect disciple, meditating to the Holy Spirit every thing in her heart, to understand and put into practice the will of God.

Let's ask ourselves a question: shall we light ourselves up with the faith of Mary, that is our mother? Or should we think of her as too far from us, too different from us? In the difficult moments of trial, of darkness, do we look to her as model of faith in God, who is it that wants us always and only for us to be well? Think about it, maybe it would do us well to re-find Mary as the model and figure of the Church, in this faith she had.

2. Let's come to the second aspect: Mary as model of charity. In what way was Mary the example of living love for the Church? Let's think about her availability towards the family of Elizabeth. Visiting her, the Virgin Mary didn't bring her just material help. This also. But she brought Jesus, that was already in her womb. To bring Jesus to that house meant to bring joy, full joy. Elizabeth and Zecharia were happy for the pregnancy that seemed impossible at their age, but it is the young Mary that brings to them full joy, that that comes from Jesus and from the Holy Spirit and that expresses itself in free charity, in sharing, in helping, and in understanding.

The Madonna wants to bring also to us, to all of us, the great gift that is Jesus; and with him he brings his love, his peace, and his joy. In this way the Church is like Mary: The Church is not a shop, it is not an humanitarian agency, the Church is not an NGO, the Church is sent to bring Christ to everyone, and his Gospel; not to bring itself. If small, if big, if strong, if weak, the Church brings Jesus and must be like Mary when she went to visit Elizabeth. What did Mary bring? Jesus. The Church brings Jesus: this is the center of the Church, to bring Jesus! If, hypothetically, some time the Church does not bring Jesus, that would be a dead Church! The Church must bring the charity of Jesus, the love of Jesus, the charity of Jesus.

We have spoken of Mary, of Jesus. And us? We that are the Church? Which love do we bring to others? Is it the love of Jesus, that shares, that forgives, that accompanies, or is it a watered-down love, like wine watered-down to make it last longer? Is it a strong love, or a fairly weak love that follows sympathies, that tries to barter, a self-interested love? Another question: does Jesus like a self-interested love? No, he does not like it, because love must be free, like his. How are the relations between our parishes, in our communities? Do we treat each other as brothers and sisters? Or do we judge each other, do we speak poorly of others, do we each take care of our own gardens, or instead do we take care of each other? These are questions of charity!

3. And let's briefly look at another aspect: Mary as model of union with Christ. The life of the Holy Virgin was a life of a woman of the people. Mary prayed, worked, and went to synagogue... But every action was completed always in perfect union with Christ. This union reached its culmination on Calvary: Here Mary united with her Son in the martyrdom of the heart, and in the offer of life to the Father for the salvation of humanity. The Madonna actually took the pain of her son and accepted with him the will of the Father, in that obedience that brings fruit, that gives true victory over evil and death.

It is very beautiful, this reality that Mary teaches us: to be always united with Jesus. Let us ask ourselves: do we remember Jesus only when something goes bad and we are in need, or is our relationship constant, a deep friendship, also when speaking of his path toward the cross?

We ask the Lord to give us his grace, his strength, until in our lives and in the lives of every ecclesiastical community reflects the life of Mary, mother of the Church. So it shall be.'"

Photo and translation by author.

1 comment:

  1. First of all thanks for sharing pope francis story and i will glad to read the story like this if it translate in many language then it will be cool reading for readers.

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