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"The finest wines are yet to be tasted; for families, the richest, deepest and most beautiful things are yet to come," said Pope Francis on his second day in Ecuador.
After visiting the Shrine of Divine Mercy, Pope Francis presided a special family-themed Mass at Samanes Park (Ecuador) this Monday, July 6. The ceremony is a part of his ninth apostolic voyage to Latin America, and took place during the first stage of his visit to Ecuador.
1. In the family, no one is rejected or feels useless.
"There’s a detail [in this Gospel passage] that makes us think. The new wine […] at the Wedding at Cana, came from the water jars, the jars used for ablutions; we might even say, from the place where everyone had left their sins… […] ‘Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more’ (Romans 5,20). In our own families and in the greater family to which we all belong, nothing is thrown away, nothing is useless," the Pope said.
In this way, the Pontiff emphasized his concern for the family. In fact, the first major announcement of his pontificate was the convocation of a Synod dedicated to families, which will take place in October of this year, shortly before the Jubilee Year of Mercy begins.
2. God purifies us and works unexpected miracles in family life.
"The church will celebrate the Ordinary Synod devoted to the family, to bring to fruition a process of true spiritual discernment and find concrete solutions to many difficulties and important challenges that the family must face in our days."
In this way, he invited the faithful to "pray fervently for this intention, so that Christ can take even what might seem to us impure, like the water in the jars scandalizing or threatening us, and turn it – by making it part of his ‘hour’ – into a miracle. The family today needs this miracle."
3. Family love is a source of hope.
The Pope’s homily was full of hope that family virtues can open us to God’s grace and transform the situation of the world. "All this began because ‘they had no wine,’ and it could all be done because a woman — the Virgin Mary — was attentive, left her concerns in God’s hands and acted sensibly and courageously," Pope Francis affirmed.
The hopeful tone of the Pontiff’s words reached a crescendo when he indicated that "the time is coming when we will taste love daily, when our children will come to appreciate the home we share, and our elderly will be present each day in the joys of life. The finest of wines is expressed by hope. This wine will come for every person who stakes everything on love. And in the family, we must take risks motivated by love, we must take the risk of loving," he said.
4. No economic crisis, statistics or doomsday predictions are more powerful than love.
The Pope continued, saying, "The best wine is yet to come, in spite of all the variables and statistics which say otherwise. The best wine will come to those who today feel hopelessly lost. Say it to yourselves until you are convinced of it. Say it to yourselves, in your hearts: the best wine is yet to come. Whisper it to the hopeless and the loveless.Have patience, hope, and follow Mary’s example: pray, open your heart, because the best wine is yet to come."
5. God gives his best wine to those who feel they have lost everything.
"God always seeks out the peripheries, those who have run out of wine, those who drink only of discouragement. Jesus feels their weakness, in order to pour out the best wines for those who, for whatever reason, feel that all their jars have been broken."
Lastly, the Pope invited all people to follow Mary so that we may "’do what the Lord tells us.’ And let us be thankful that in this, our time and our hour, the new wine, the finest wine, will make us recover the joy of families, the joy of living in a family. Let it be so."
"I pray for each of your families and I ask you to follow Mary’s example. Please do not forget to pray for me. Until we meet again!" he said at the end of Mass.
Translated by Matthew Green.