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Mary tells us of Jesus in language we understand: Pope


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Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 08/23/23

Our Lady "proclaims God in the most suitable language; that is, the mother tongue."

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a perfect example of how to share the Good News of the Gospel, says Pope Francis, who focused on her, and the saint she appeared to, in his catechesis series about apostolic zeal.

This August 23, the Holy Father reflected on how Our Lady “proclaims God in the most suitable language; that is, the mother tongue.”

Considering how the evangelization efforts in the Americas had “also been accompanied by worldly interests,” the Pope spoke of how Mary, appearing as an indigenous woman, showed the proper respect for the culture.

She “appears dressed in the clothing of the indigenous, native peoples, she speaks their language, she welcomes and loves the local culture: Mary is Mother, and under her mantle every child finds a place. In Mary, God became flesh and, through Mary, He continues to incarnate Himself in the lives of peoples.”

The Virgin, as mother, speaks to us “in the mother tongue, the language we understand well. The Gospel is transmitted through the mother tongue.”

Here, the Pope invited applause for the many grandmothers and mothers who also transmit the faith to their children as “first evangelizers.”

Simple people

The Pope went on to recount the story of the apparitions and how St. Juan Diego finally convinced the bishop to build the shrine.

Our Lady always chooses those who are simple, on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico, as at Lourdes and Fatima: speaking to them, she speaks to everyone, in a language suitable for all, in understandable language, like that of Jesus.

Juan Diego’s trials show that the path of sharing the Gospel will include difficulties, said the Pope.

“Let nothing frighten you, let nothing trouble your heart: […] Am I not here, I who am your mother?”

The bishop did not believe him — “so often,” the Pope said, “we bishops are like this” — but Mary did not agree to Juan’s request to send someone else.

To proclaim [Jesus], in fact, it is not enough to bear witness to the good, it is necessary to know how to endure evil. Let’s not forget this: it is very important to proclaim the Gospel, not just by bearing witness to the good, but also by bearing with evil. A Christian does good, but also endures evil. Both go together; life is like that.

Always here

But in our difficulties, both those of proclaiming the Gospel, and those of ordinary life, Mary is always here.

“Let nothing frighten you, let nothing trouble your heart: […] Am I not here, I who am your mother?” This is beautiful. Often times when we are in desolation, in sadness, in difficulty, Our Lady say this to us, too, in our hearts: Am I, your mother, not here? [She is] always close by us to console us and give us the strength to go on.

The Holy Father encouraged the faithful to find Our Lady at her shrines around the world, where “everyone feels at home – because it is the house of their mamma, the house of their mother.”

Here, we experience “the longing for the place where you find the Mother — Heaven,” he said.

And as she told Juan Diego, Our Lady listens to our cries and heals our sorrows. We should learn this: when there are difficulties in life, we go to our Mother; and when life is happy, we also go to our Mother to share these things. We need to go to these oases of consolation and mercy, where faith is expressed in a maternal language; where we lay down the labours of life in Our Lady’s arms and return to life with peace in our hearts, perhaps with the peace of little children.

Our Lady of GuadalupePope FrancisVirgin Mary
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