10/12/2013, 00.00
梵蒂冈
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教宗:玛利亚的信德,俨如火焰点亮,直到复活的曙光照射

在信德年庆祝的「圣母节」,从葡萄牙花地玛带来的雕像,带进圣伯多禄广场。教宗方济各说:「玛利亚是母亲,她富有耐心和亲切地带领我们到天主跟前。让他以天父的怜悯,解开我们灵魂的结。」全球的圣母朝圣地,通过卫星传送,与教宗一起祈祷。

梵蒂冈城(亚洲新闻) - 宽恕、成为血肉之躯、旅程。这些都是玛利亚信德的元素。耶稣的母亲是一个例子,刺激每一个基督徒,使他们愿意以良心活出宗教信仰。这也是教宗方济各的反省核心,他向圣伯多禄广场,在从花地玛圣母带回来的雕像前,配合信德年举办的「圣母节」。下午4时开始游行,高举花地玛圣母雕像。它刚从葡萄牙以飞机运抵。

下午5时,由教宗方济各亲自迎接圣母。宗座新福传委员会主席里诺‧费斯切拉总主教(Rino Fisichella)致辞。然后,为圣母雕像加上玫瑰花的花冠。在场的几万人,加上更多在世界各地,透过直播梵蒂冈礼仪,与教宗一起祈祷。教宗为圣母雕像加上玫瑰花冠,他把花冠放在雕像脚下,然后划上十字圣号。之后,圣母像游行开始,先走过马蒂尼大道。

在圣母祈祷结束时,教宗分享了以下的反省:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

             We are all gathered for this event of the Year of Faith devoted to Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church, our Mother.  The statue of Our Lady, which has come from Fatima, helps us to feel her presence in our midst.  Mary always brings us to Jesus.  She is a woman of faith, a true believer.  What was Mary's faith like?

 1.         The first aspect of her faith is this: Mary's faith unties the knot of sin (cf. Lumen Gentium, 56).  What does that mean?  The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council took up a phrase of Saint Irenaeus, who states that "the knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by the obedience of Mary; what the virgin Eve bound by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith" (Adversus Haereses, III, 22, 4).

             The "knot" of disobedience, the "knot" of unbelief.  When children disobey their parents, we can say that a little "knot" is created.  This happens if the child acts with an awareness of what he or she is doing, especially if there is a lie involved.   At that moment, they break trust with their parents.  How often does this happen!  Then the relationship with their parents needs to be purified of this fault; the child has to ask forgiveness so that harmony and trust can be restored.  Something of the same sort happens in our relationship with God.  When we do not listen to him, when we do not follow his will, we do concrete things that demonstrate our lack of trust in him - for that is what sin is - and a kind of knot is created deep within us.  These knots take away our peace and serenity.  They are dangerous, since many knots can form a tangle which gets more and more painful and difficult to undo.

             But nothing is impossible for God's mercy!  Even the most tangled knots are loosened by his grace.  And Mary, whose "yes" opened the door for God to undo the knot of the ancient disobedience, is the Mother who patiently and lovingly brings us to God, so that he can untangle the knots of our soul by his fatherly mercy.  We might ask ourselves: What knots do I have in my life?  Do I ask Mary to help me trust in God's mercy, in order to change?

 2.         A second aspect is that Mary's faith gave human flesh to Jesus.  As the Council says: "Through her faith and obedience, she gave birth on earth to the very Son of the Father, without knowing man but by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit" (Lumen Gentium, 63).  This was a point on which the Fathers of the Church greatly insisted: Mary first conceived Jesus in faith and then in the flesh, when she said "yes" to the message God gave her through the angel.  What does this mean?  It means that God did not want to become man by ignoring our freedom; he wanted to pass through Mary's free assent, her "yes".

             But what took place most singularly in the Virgin Mary also takes place within us, spiritually, when we receive the word of God with a good and sincere heart and put it into practice.  It is as if God takes flesh within us; he comes to dwell in us, for he dwells in all who love him and keep his word.

             Let us ask ourselves: Do we think about this?  Or do we think that Jesus' incarnation is simply a past event which has nothing to do with us personally?  Believing in Jesus means giving him our flesh with the humility and courage of Mary, so that he can continue to dwell in our midst.  It means giving him our hands, to caress the little ones and the poor; our feet, to go forth and meet our brothers and sisters; our arms, to hold up the weak and to work in the Lord's vineyard, our minds, to think and act in the light of the Gospel; and especially our hearts, to love and to make choices in accordance with God's will.  All this happens thanks to the working of the Holy Spirit.  Let us be led by him!

 3.         The third aspect is Mary's faith as a journey.  The Council says that Mary "advanced in her pilgrimage of faith" (Lumen Gentium, 58).  In this way she precedes us on this pilgrimage, she accompanies and sustains us.

             How was Mary's faith a journey?  In the sense that her entire life was to follow her Son: he is the way, he is the path!   To press forward in faith, to advance in the spiritual pilgrimage which is faith, is nothing other than to follow Jesus; to listen to him and be guided by his words; to see how he acts and to follow in his footsteps; to have his same sentiments of humility, mercy, closeness to others, but also his firm rejection of hypocrisy, duplicity and idolatry.  The way of Jesus is the way of a love which is faithful to the end, even unto sacrificing one's life; it is the way of the cross.  The journey of faith thus passes through the cross.  Mary understood this from the beginning, when Herod sought to kill the newborn Jesus.  But then this experience of the cross became deeper when Jesus was rejected and Mary's faith encountered misunderstanding and contempt, and when Jesus' "hour" came, the hour of his passion, when Mary's faith was a little flame burning in the night.  Through the night of Holy Saturday, Mary kept watch.  Her flame, small but bright, remained burning until the dawn of the resurrection.  And when she received word that the tomb was empty, her heart was filled with the joy of faith: Christian faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This was the culmination of Mary's journey of faith, and that of the whole Church.  What is our faith like?  Like Mary, do we keep it burning even at times of difficulty and darkness?   Do I have the joy of faith?

             This evening, O Mary, we thank you for our faith, and we renew our entrustment to you, Mother of our faith.

 

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