december 2010

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

In the heart of our communities, Mary is a sweet and reassuring presence. In her discreet style, she gives everyone peace and hope, both in the happy and sad moments of life. In churches, chapels or on the walls of buildings there is a painting, mosaic or a statue as a reminder of the presence of the Mother, constantly watching over her children.

What does Mary tell the city? Of what does her presence remind us?  She is the Immaculate Mother who tells people in our day too: Do not be afraid, Jesus has defeated evil, he has uprooted it, delivering us from its rule.

How great is our need of this good news! Every day, in fact, in the newspapers, on television and on the radio bad news is broadcast, repeated, amplified, so that we become used to the most terrible things. The heart hardens and thoughts grow gloomy.

The community, dear brothers and sisters, is all of us! Each one of us contributes with his life to its moral atmosphere, for better or for worse. The border between good and evil runs through every heart and none of us should feel entitled to judge others. Rather, each one must feel duty bound to improve him or herself. The mass media always tends to make us feel like "spectators", as if evil concerned only others and certain things could never happen to us. Instead, we are all "actors" and, for better or for worse, our behaviour has an influence on others.

Mary Immaculate helps us to rediscover and defend what lies within people. Our Lady teaches us to be open to God's action and to see others as he sees them: starting with the heart.

I want to pay homage publicly to all those who in silence, not with words but with deeds, strive to practice this evangelical law of love that propels the world forward. They are men and women of all ages, who have realized that it is not worth condemning, complaining or accusing; that it is better to respond to evil by doing good. This changes things; or rather it changes people, and hence improves society.

(Reflection by Pope Benedict XVI for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception)

 

 

 

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