Source: Vatican News
Addressing the faithful gathered in Saint Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus on the August 15th Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, Pope Francis offered his opening reflections on the importance of this Feast, saying “Mary’s secret is humility.” God looks at the heart, he said, and Mary’s humility drew God’s gaze to her. He observed that often times the human eye is instead overtaken with appearances and grandeur, while overlooking the essential importance of humility.
By looking to Mary assumed into heaven, the Pope said we see how “humility is the way that brings her to Heaven”. To rise up to Heaven, we need to be humble he said, noting the origin of the word humble comes from the Latin word humus meaning “earth”. Our gifts or wealth are not what allow us to be exalted by God, but instead it is our humility, our loving and serving God in total giving that matters.
This means we should examine ourselves and how we are doing with humility in our own lives, the Pope said. We need to ask ourselves if we are often seeking affirmation and praise only for ourselves, or if we could put more emphasis on serving. Do we listen, like Mary, or desire to be the one always talking in order to have the attention and praise. Do we try to lower tensions between people and find unity, or do we try to always dominate the situation? These are important questions to ask ourselves, the Pope said, and especially when looking to the Madonna, saying “in her littleness, Mary wins heaven first”, because she recognised her “lowliness” since with God, “only those who recognise themselves as nothing can receive the all”. The Pope said Mary is the “full of grace” due to her humility.
We too should look to humility as the starting point in our faith journey, the Pope went on to say, noting that we need to be poor in spirit, which means “in need of God”, so that through us the Lord can “accomplish great things”.
Recalling the poet Dante who referred to the Virgin Mary as “humbler and loftier than any creature”, the Pope said this beautiful reality should bring us to reflect on Mary, “the first to win heaven with her entire being, in soul and body” who lived out her life within the family in the ordinary day-to-day of life, often “in silence…externally, nothing extraordinary”. At the same time, he added, “God’s gaze was always upon her, admiring her humility, her availability, the beauty of her heart never stained by sin.”
“It is a huge message of hope for us”, the Pope concluded, noting even in our own ordinary and often difficult lives we can follow the same example. “Mary reminds you today that God calls you too to this glorious destiny,” he stressed, and these are not just nice words, but “pure reality as live and true as the Madonna assumed into Heaven”.
In conclusion, he asked everyone to pray that Mary may “accompany us on our journey that leads from Earth to Heaven”, striving to live with humility, the secret to our journey.
At the conclusion of the Angelus Pope Francis prayed for dialogue and peace in Afghanistan and the victims in Haiti’s earthquake, appealing for global solidarity to reach them.
He asked everyone to unite in praying to “the God of peace so that the clamour of weapons might cease and solutions can be found at the table of dialogue.” He said only this way can the “battered population of that country – men, women, elderly and children” be able to “return to their own homes, and live in peace and security, in total mutual respect”.
The Pope also recalled the strong earthquake that shook Haiti on Thursday. He expressed his “closeness to the dear people hard hit by the earthquake”, offering his prayers to the Lord for the victims. He offered his encouragement to the survivors and hopes that the help of the international community might reach them. “May the solidarity of all alleviate the consequences of the tragedy!”, he emphasized, inviting everyone in the Square to pray a Hail Mary for Haiti.
Pope Francis concluded, saying he was going to pray before the Icon Salus Populi Romani, in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major for the Feast of the Assumption and encouraged everyone to venerate Our Lady on this special day.
Text of Pope’s reflection: www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/angelus/2021/documents/papa-francesco_angelus_20210815.html
Video of today’s Angelus on Vatican Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCG9C0vMBto
Tags: Pope Francis, Angelus, Assumption of Our Lady, Mary
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