Mary is always with us, in every moment of our daily lives, and she also is well aware of what burdens our hearts.
Pope Francis stressed this during the Mass he presided over in Iquique, Chile Jan. 18, 2018, during his Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22, and his last Mass in Chile before heading off to Peru.
Recalling today’s Gospel according to St. John, which tells of the Wedding at Cana, the Pope went on to say how Jesus works miracles, through us, and how we are called like Mary to be attentive to those who are in need, like those “without wine.”
Jesus’ public appearance “at a party,” the Argentine Pope said, “could not be otherwise, since the Gospel is a constant invitation to joy.” Noting the Gospel message is a wellspring of joy, Francis noted it is a “contagious, passing from generation to generation, a joy that we have inherited, because we are Christians.”
“How much you know about this, dear brothers and sisters of northern Chile! How much you know about living your faith and your lives in a festive spirit! I have come as a pilgrim to join you in celebrating this beautiful way of living the faith.”
The party, the Pope said, does not remain inside the Church, but you turn the whole town into a party.
In this festive atmosphere, the Gospel shows us how Mary acts to make that joy continue, the Pope stressed. “She is attentive to everything going on around her; like a good mother, she doesn’t sit still. So she notices, amid in the party and the shared joy, that something is about to happen that might ‘water it down.’ She approaches her Son and tells him simply: ‘They have no wine” (Jn 2:3).”
“In the same way, Mary passes through our towns, our streets, our squares, our homes and our hospitals …She notices all those problems that burden our hearts, then whispers into Jesus’ ear and says: Look, ‘they have no wine.'”
Mary, the Pontiff stressed, does not remain quiet. She goes up to the servants and says to them: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5).
“Mary, a woman of few but very pointed words, also comes up to each of us and says simply: “Do whatever he tells you”. In this way, she elicits the first miracle of Jesus: to make his friends feel that they too are part of the miracle.
Because Christ ‘came to this world not to perform a task by himself, but with us,’ the Pope said, He performs miracles with us. Each person, even as we saw in the Gospel, the Pontiff said, is invited to be part of the miracle for others.
“Like Mary at Cana, let us make an effort to be more attentive in our squares and towns, to notice those whose lives have been “watered down”, who have lost – or have been robbed of – reasons for celebrating; those whose hearts are saddened. And, like Mary, let us say: They have no wine, Lord.”
The Pope encouraged us to allow Jesus to complete the miracle “by turning our communities and our hearts into living signs of his presence, which is joyful and festive because we have experienced that God is with us, because we have learned to make room for him within our hearts.”
“A contagious joy and festivity that lead us to exclude no one from the proclamation of this Good News, and to share all that belongs to our original culture, in order to enrich it also with what is truly ours, with our own traditions, with our ancestral wisdom, so that those who come may encounter wisdom and share their own. This is the celebration. This is the water transformed into wine. This is the miracle that Jesus performs.”
Pope Francis concluded, praying that Mary’s words continue to find a place in us: ‘Do whatever he tells you.’
Words of Thanks for People of Great Faith, and the Homeland
At the conclusion of this celebration, the Pope thanked all those involved in his visit to Chile, saying he now continues his pilgrimage towards Peru, “a country that is a friend and brother to this great nation of Chile, which we are called to cherish and uphold. It is a nation that finds its beauty in the many and varied faces of her people.”
“Dear brothers and sisters, at every Eucharist we pray: ‘Look, Lord, on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will.’ Pope Francis said to the Chileans. “What more can I ask for you at the end of my visit than to say to the Lord: Look at the faith of this people and grant them unity and peace!”
Asking those present to pray for him, Pope Francis concluded, saying: “I am grateful for the presence of so many pilgrims from the brother nations, Bolivia, Peru, and please don’t be jealous, but especially Argentineans, because Argentina is my homeland.”
“Thank you to my Argentinean brothers and sisters who have accompanied me in Santiago, Temuco and here in Iquique. Many thanks.”
On ZENIT’s WEB PAGE: