“May the Lord give us all the grace to love silence, to look for it and to have a heart guarded by the cloud of silence."
Mary, with Her example of silence, shows us how to guard the mystery of God’s path for us.
This was Pope Francis' reflection this morning during his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta.
Today’s Gospel recalled the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that She would give birth to the Savior. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you,” said the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. Reflecting on this “shadow” that conceals the mystery of the Incarnation, the Pope said this shadow is comparable to the cloud that protected the people of Israel in the desert.
“The Lord has always taken care of the mystery and has covered the mystery. He did not advertise the mystery. A mystery that advertises itself is not Christian, it is not the mystery of God: it is a fake mystery! And this is what happened to Our Lady here, when she receives her Son: the mystery of Her virginal maternity is concealed. It is concealed for Her whole life! This shadow of God, in our life, helps us to discover our mystery, our mystery of the meeting with the Lord, our mystery of the path of life with the Lord.”
This shadow, or cloud, that exists in our life, he said, calls us to silence. Regarding silence as the “cloud that covers the mystery of our relationship with the Lord”, the Pope said that without it, the mystery is lost. The Blessed Mother is an example of this silence, from the moment of the Annunciation till the death of Christ.
“The Gospel tells us nothing: whether She said a word or not…She was silent, but in Her heart, how many things did she tell the Lord! ‘You, that day – this is what we read – told me that He would be great; You told me that you would give Him the Throne of David, His father, that He would reign forever and now I see him there!’ Our Lady was human! And perhaps she had the urge to say: ‘Lies! I was deceived!” John Paul II said this, speaking about Our Lady in that moment. But She, with silence, covered the mystery that She did not understand and with this silence she left this mystery so that it could grow and flourish in hope.”
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis stressed that silence guards the mystery of God’s plan of salvation for our lives. “May the Lord give us all the grace to love silence, to look for it and to have a heart guarded by the cloud of silence,” he said. (J.A.E.)