Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 15 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. César de Bus
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Church Is Like a Widow Seeking Her Husband, Pope Says

©ALESSIA GIULIANI/CPP

Catholic News Agency - published on 09/18/13

The Bishop of Rome gives an inspiring homily during daily mass from the Vatican

The Church militant is similar to a widow and progresses through history searching for her divine spouse Jesus Christ, Pope Francis preached in his homily for daily Mass Sept. 17.

The widow of Naim in Scripture is “an icon of the Church, because the Church is in a certain sense a widow,” the Holy Father said at the chapel of the Vatican’s Domus Sanctae Marthae, reflecting on the day’s Gospel.

“The Bridegroom is gone and she walks in history, hoping to find him, to meet with him. And she will be his true bride. In the meantime she – the Church – is alone! The Lord is invisible. She has a certain dimension of widowhood.”

Christ’s encounter with the widow of Naim shows that he has “the capacity to suffer with us, to be close to our sufferings and make them his own,” the Pope said, and the Lord “had great compassion” on her.

“The Lord has a special love for widows, he cares for them.”

The Church is like a widow, Pope Francis said, and is “courageous” in defending her children, “like the widow who went to the corrupt judge to (press her rights) and eventually won.”

“Our mother Church is courageous! She has the courage of a woman who knows that her children are her own, and must defend them and bring them to an encounter with her Spouse.”

“She is a Church that, when she is faithful, knows how to cry. When the Church does not cry, something is not right. She weeps for her children, and prays,” he said.

Pope Francis added that the Church continues through history “rearing her children,” and “gives them strength and accompanies them until the final farewell in order to leave them in the hands of her Spouse, who at the end will come to encounter her.”

He said that he sees the Church in the widow of Naim, weeping for her dead son, and that Christ says to the Church: “Do not cry. I am with you, I will accompany you, I will wait for you there, at the wedding feast, the final marriage, that of the Lamb. Stop (your tears), this son of yours was dead, now lives.”

As Christ told the widow’s son to arise, so he tells us to get up “when we are dead because of sin and we are going to ask for pardon.” And when he grants us pardon, the Pope noted, “he returns us to our mother.”

Reconciliation with the Lord is not a matter of only the priest and the penitent, he explained, but it is completed only when Christ returns us to our mother, the Church, because “there is no path of life, there is no pardon, there is no reconciliation outside of mother Church.”

Pope Francis concluded by saying that the day’s Gospel inspires him “to ask the Lord for the grace to be always confident of this ‘Mom’ who defends us, who teaches us, who helps us grow and to speak the dialect” of orthodoxy and catechism.

Originally published at Catholic News Agency on 17 September 2013. Used with permission. All other rights reserved.

Tags:
CatholicismPope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
2
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
JESUS
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
6
DIVINE MERCY
Aleteia
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
7
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.