Pope Benedict XVI met with a group
of 4,000 pilgrims who gathered in the courtyard of his summer residence in
The Pope pointed out that Mary’s assumption is a “spiritual reality that is a source of consolation and that is an important truth of our faith.” This mystery, he said, reminds us that our final home is not here on earth and that our longing for fulfillment finds complete satisfaction only in eternal happiness. “The luminous sign of Mary taken up into heaven shines forth even more brightly for all of us even when the gloomy clouds of pain and violence seem to be accumulating on the horizon,” the Holy Father noted. “Sustained by this awareness, let us continue our journey in the Christian life with confidence wherever God in his providence leads us.”
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today our usual weekly Wednesday meeting is taking place the day following the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For this reason, I would like to invite you to gaze once again upon our heavenly mother, whom we contemplated triumphant with Christ in heaven in yesterday’s liturgy. This has been a beloved feast of the Christian people from the very first centuries of Christianity; as you know, it celebrates the bodily glorification of the creature that God chose as a mother for himself and that Jesus on the cross gave all of humanity as a mother. The Assumption evokes a mystery that is of interest for each one of us, because, as the Second Vatican Council states, Mary “shines forth on earth as a sign of sure hope and solace to the people of God during its sojourn on earth” (Lumen Gentium, 68). However, we are so taken up with the events of daily life that we forget at times this spiritual reality that is a source of consolation and that is an important truth of our faith.
How can we make this luminous sign of hope be perceived more widely in today’s society? Today there are people who live as though they will never die or as though everything will draw to an end with death; some act as though man were the sole author of his own destiny and as though God did not exist, sometimes to the point of even denying that there is any place for him in our world.
Even so, the great successes of technology and science, which have notably improved the condition of humanity, offer no solution to the deepest queries of the human spirit.
Only openness to the mystery of God, who is love, can satisfy the thirst of truth and happiness in our heart; only the prospect of eternity can give true value to the events of man’s ongoing history and, above all, to the mystery of human weakness, suffering and death.
Contemplating Mary in her heavenly glory, we understand that for us too, earth is not our final home and that, if we live with our eyes set upon eternity, we will share one day the same glory as hers, and the earth also becomes more beautiful.
For this reason, we must not lose our tranquility and peace amid the thousand difficulties of daily life. The luminous sign of Mary taken up into heaven shines forth more brightly for all of us even when the gloomy clouds of pain and violence seem to be accumulating on the horizon. We can be certain of one thing: Mary is following our footsteps from on high with sweet trepidation, giving us peace amidst the gloom and the storms, and reassuring us with the hand of a mother.
Sustained by this awareness, let us continue our journey in the Christian life with confidence wherever God in his providence leads us. Let us keep going, with Mary’s guidance, on our journey in life. Thank you.