12/29/2019, 13.50
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Pope: The Family of Nazareth, a choral response to the Father's will

During the Angelus, Pope Francis prayed for and expressed closeness to family members and victims of yesterday's terrorist attack in Mogadishu. "The three components" of the Holy Family "helped each other discover and carry out God's plan". Communication in the family must be resumed.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis began the recitation of the Angelus today, the feast day of the Holy Family, noting that “The Family of Nazareth represents a choral response to the Father's will: the three components of this singular family helped each other discover and carry out God's plan”.

After the Marian prayer, the pontiff expressed his solidarity to the victims of a terrorist attack that took place yesterday in Mogadishu (Somalia) when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a car near a checkpoint, killing about 90 people and injuring dozens. The attack was claimed by Al Shabaab, the Somali branch of al Qaeda. The Holy Father urged everyone to pray “for the victims”, saying “I am close to all the family members and those who mourn their disappearance". He then began reciting a Hail Mary with the pilgrims in the square.

Previously the pontiff spoke about the three members of the Holy Family and their readiness to do God’s will. “How can we not be amazed,” he said, “by Mary’s docility to the action of the Holy Spirit asking her to become the Messiah’s mother? . . . Jesus exalted her greatness not so much for her role as a mother, but for her obedience to God: ‘blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it’ (Lk 11:28). When she did not fully understand the events that involved her, Mary silently meditated, reflected and worshipped the divine initiative. Her presence at the foot of the cross consecrated this total availability.”

“As for Joseph, the Gospel does not quote a single word: he does not speak, but takes action obeying . . . Today's Gospel page (cf Mt 2:13-15,19-23) refers three times to the obedience by the righteous Joseph, with respect to the flight to Egypt and the return to the land of Israel. Under God’s guidance, represented by the Angel, Joseph spirited his family away from Herod's threats. The Holy Family thus stands in solidarity with all the families of the world forced into exile, as well as all those who are forced to abandon their land because of repression, violence, and war.”

“Finally, [we come to] Jesus. He is the Father’s will. In him, Saint Paul said, there was no ‘yes’ and ‘no’, but only ‘yes’ (cf. 2 Cor 1:19). This manifested itself on many occasions during his earthly life, [like] The episode of the temple when he told his parents who were looking for him anxiously: ‘Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ (Lk 2:49); his constant repeating: ‘My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work’ (Jn 4:34); his praying in the Garden of Olives: ‘My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!’ (Mt 26:42).

“All these events are the perfect realisation of Christ’s own words when he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire’ [. . .]. Then I said: ‘Behold, I come to do your will, O God’ "(Heb 10: 5-7; Ps 40: 7-9).”

“The Family of Nazareth,” said the pontiff by way of conclusion, “represents a choral response to the Father's will: the three components of this singular family helped each other discover God’s plan. They prayed, worked, communicated.” Hence, “I ask myself: do you know how to communicate about yourself in your family, or are you like those kids who sit at the table with their mobile phones? There is a silence like when one is at mass.

“We need to resume communication in the family ... This task must be realised today. The Holy Family can be the model for our families, so that parents and children support each other in following the Gospel, the foundation of the family’s holiness.

“Let us entrust to Mary the 'Queen of the family', all the families of the world, especially those tried by suffering or unease; let us call upon them her maternal protection.”

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