Benedict XVI's Angelus Reflection at World Youth Day 7.20.08

Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI gave a little meditation before the noon Angelus at World Youth Day. His reflection revolved around the angel Gabriel’s message at the Annunciation that Mary was to be the Mother of God. Mary was “utterly overwhelmed at the prospect that lay before her.” God provided for her need with the power of the Holy Spirit.

“It was the Spirit who gave her the strength and courage to respond to the Lord’s call. It was the Spirit who helped her to understand the great mystery that was to be accomplished through her. It was the Spirit who enfolded her with his love and enabled her to conceive the Son of God in her womb.”
“This scene is perhaps the pivotal moment in the history of God’s relationship with his people. During the Old Testament, God revealed himself partially, gradually, as we all do in our personal relationships. It took time for the chosen people to develop their relationship with God. The Covenant with Israel was like a period of courtship, a long engagement. Then came the definitive moment, the moment of marriage, the establishment of a new and everlasting covenant. As Mary stood before the Lord, she represented the whole of humanity. In the angel’s message, it was as if God made a marriage proposal to the human race. And in our name, Mary said yes.”

The Holy Father uses the image of marriage to describe the personal relationship between God and His people. He uses the words: courtship, engagement, marriage, marriage proposal, and yes. The New Covenant is the establishment of a marriage between God and the whole of humanity.
“In fairy tales, the story ends there, and all “live happily ever after”. In real life it is not so simple. For Mary there were many struggles ahead, as she lived out the consequences of the “yes” that she had given to the Lord. Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her heart. When Jesus was twelve years old, she experienced every parent’s worst nightmare when, for three days, the child went missing. And after his public ministry, she suffered the agony of witnessing his crucifixion and death. Throughout her trials she remained faithful to her promise, sustained by the Spirit of fortitude. And she was gloriously rewarded.”
Saying “yes” to God, saying “yes” that we will be His faithful spouse is only the beginning of the story. Struggles always ensue. Mary had a sword pierce her heart on a number of occasions as a consequence of saying yes to God. Yet, she always remained faithful to her personal commitment to her God, her Husband.
The Holy Father ended the Angelus reflection with these words:
“Dear young people, we too must remain faithful to the “yes” that we have given to the Lord’s offer of friendship. We know that he will never abandon us. We know that he will always sustain us through the gifts of the Spirit. Mary accepted the Lord’s “proposal” in our name. So let us turn to her and ask her to guide us as we struggle to remain faithful to the life-giving relationship that God has established with each one of us. She is our example and our inspiration, she intercedes for us with her Son, and with a mother’s love she shields us from harm.”

God desires to be our friend. He desires to be the most intimate of friends, for which we use the analogy of marriage between a man and a woman. Mary said “yes” to the proposal, and as such, she is our guide, example, inspiration, intercessor and mother who will bring us closer to our best friend and husband, Jesus. He will never fail us. His invitation to intimacy to me personally is the singular life-giving relationship that makes me fully alive. And that is why He came…so that we may have life and have it abundantly.

Thanks for reading and your prayers.
Copyright 2007.
All rights reserved.

No comments:

Copyright 2007

Thanks for reading.