Pope Francis on January 19, 2019, reminded the crowds in Peru that Mary is not only an example but a mother. His comments came in an address during his meeting with the Population at Jorge-Basadre-Institute in Puerto Maldonado in Peru.
The Holy Father went on to explain that he had been told he was coming to a forgotten place, a “no man’s land.” He disagreed.
“You are not a no man’s land,” Francis stressed. ” This land has names. It has faces. It has you.”
He noted that Mary also came from a “no man’s land.” And where there is a mother, you are cannot be forgotten nor alone.
The Pope pointed out that many people come to the area seeking a better life, sometimes “by the promising allure of gold mining,” But he warned that gold “can turn into a false god that demands human sacrifices.
“False gods, the idols of avarice, money, and power, corrupt everything,” he stressed. ” They corrupt people and institutions, and they ruin the forest.”
The Holy Father reminded the crowd that there “are demons that require much prayer to expel,” as Christ taught. And Francis encouraged the people to gather “as people of faith and vibrant ecclesial communities, around the person of Jesus.”
Pope Francis also raised the “painful subject” of human trafficking, which he said we should in reality call “slavery: slavery for work, sexual slavery, slavery for profit.” In particular, he lamented the denigration and devaluing of “of so many women, especially young women”
In concluding, Francis recalled that salvation is neither generic nor abstract. He said, “Our Father looks at real people, with real faces and histories.
“Every Christian community must be a reflection of this gaze, this presence that creates bonds and generates family and community. It is a way of making visible the kingdom of heaven, in communities where everyone feels a part of the whole, where they feel called by name and encouraged to be a builder of life for others.”