Saturday, 3 January 2015

Pope Francis: homily for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

Aunty points out the teaching offered by Pope Francis in his homily at Mass on New Year's Day. The Vatican Information Service is carrying a full English text under the title Jesus cannot be understood without his Mother; the Catholic News Agency, to whom Aunty links, have a report under the title Without the Church, Jesus 'is at the mercy of our imagination,' Pope says.

Pope Francis has, I think, spoken on previous occasions of the motherhood of the Church; it is one of his favoured themes. Likewise, the idea that one cannot separate a relationship with Jesus Christ from a relationship to the Church is another of his constant themes. The two themes are brought together very beautifully in this homily. If one wishes to look for an example of a presentation of Catholic teaching in the form of beauty, Pope Francis' homily is an excellent example.

I was reminded as I read the full text of Pope Francis' homily of Pope Paul VI's decision to acclaim the Virgin Mary with the title "Mother of the Church" at the time of the Second Vatican Council. That decision was not without controversy at the time - the Council fathers had, in effect, chosen not to make use of the title - but has I, think, been borne out in the life of the Church since the Council. That Pope Francis readily refers to the title in his homily is very indicative of this.

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