Speaking before thousands who gathered in St. Peter’s Square to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary today, Pope Francis reminded that God can only do great things in us if we become humble like Mary.
Vatican Radio is reporting on the reflections given by the Holy Father during the Angelus address on this feast of the Assumption which is an important religious and civil holiday in Italy.
While speaking about today’s Gospel reading, which relates Mary’s meeting with Elizabeth and her beautiful hymn of praise to God known as the Magnificat, the Pope said that the greatest gift that Mary brought to Elizabeth was Jesus who was already alive within her. No longer was the awaiting of the Messiah a matter of faith and hope, as it was in so many women in the Old Testament. Now Jesus had taken human flesh in Mary. The mission of salvation had begun.
As a result, the joy in Elizabeth’s heart “overflows and bursts from her heart, because the invisible but real presence of Jesus fills her senses.”
This same joy is echoed by Mary in the Magnificat, a song of praise for God, who accomplished His plan of salvation not through the rich and might, but through the poor and humble.
God can do great things in the humble because “humility is like an emptiness that leaves room for God,” the pope said. The humble person “is powerful because he is humble, not because he is strong.”
He then challenged the faithful to reflect on their own efforts to foster the virtue of humility.
He went on to speak about how the coming of Jesus through Mary created not only a climate of joy and fraternal communion in the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah, “but also a climate of faith that leads to hope, to prayer, to praise,” he said.
All of us desire these same things for our own homes. “Celebrating Mary Most Holy, Assumed into Heaven, we would like her, once more, to bring to us, to our families, to our communities, that immense Gift, that unique Grace that we must always seek first and above all other graces that we have at heart: the grace that is Jesus Christ!”
In conclusion, he said that Mary “is the model of virtue and of faith. In contemplating her today assumed into heaven, at the final completion of her earthly journey, we give thanks that she always goes before us in the pilgrimage of life and of faith.”
He added: “We ask that she protect and sustain us; that we might have a strong, joyful, and merciful faith; that she might help us to be saints, to meet together with her, one day, in Paradise.”
At the end of the address, the pope entrusted to Mary, as Queen of Peace, “the anxieties and sorrows of peoples who, in many parts of the world, are suffering on account of natural calamities, of social tensions or of conflicts.”
He prayed, “May our heavenly Mother obtain consolation for all, and a future of serenity and of concord.”