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Church, like Mary, must focus on Christ, Pope tells audience

October 23, 2013

“If the Church did not bring Jesus, she would be a lifeless church,” Pope Francis told his weekly audience on October 23.

Continuing his series of talks on the nature of the Catholic Church, the Pope devoted his Wednesday audience—which drew nearly 100,000 people to St. Peter’s Square-- to the Virgin Mary as a model for the Church.

Mary is a model of faith, the Pope said, because she was a devout Jew, awaiting redemption, when God’s plan was revealed to her. “From that moment Mary’s faith receives a new light,” the Pope said. “It is focused on Jesus.”

For years Mary lived out her live of faith “in the simplicity of the thousand daily tasks and worries of every mother,” the Pope continued. Her role changed, however, at the time of the Crucifixion, when she again accepted God’s will. “There, her maternity broadened to embrace every one of us, to lead us to her Son.”

Mary is thus a model of charity as well, the Pontiff said. He reminded his audience that immediately after the Annunciation she hurries to provide help for her cousin Elizabeth. However the Pope called attention to the joy that Elizabeth experienced when she realized that Mary had brought the Savior into her house. This is the Virgin’s role, Pope Francis said: to bring Christ to us.

“Thus is the Church,” the Pope said. “She is not a humanitarian organization; she is not an NGO, but rather she is sent to bring Christ and his Gospel to all.”


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  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 24, 2013 8:32 AM ET USA

    Mary and Jesus are historical figures in our parishes. Until they are alive and well the Church will not be truly alive as Christ intended. Our clergy need to stop giving "bible study" homilies and speak to what Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Spirit are doing in this time and this place. The "safe" homilies that don't trouble congregations (and result in letters to the bishop) must stop, and the role of the Body of Christ in this time must be preached.