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MISSION INTENTION - MAY 2013
That Mary, Queen of the World and Star of Evangelization, may accompany all missionaries in proclaiming her Son Jesus.
Thus, once again, we can contemplate Mary's place in the saving plan of God, that "purpose" which we find in the Second Reading, taken from the Letter to the Romans. Here the Apostle Paul expresses in two verses, unusually dense with meaning, the synthesis of what human life is from a meta-historical viewpoint: a parabola of salvation that starts from God and returns to him; a parabola entirely motivated and governed by his love. This is a salvific design totally permeated by divine freedom, which nonetheless awaits a fundamental contribution by human freedom: the creature's corresponds to the
Creator's love. And it is here, in this space of human freedom, that we perceive the presence of the Virgin Mary, without her ever having been explicitly mentioned: she is in fact, in Christ, the first fruits and model of "those who love him [God]" (Rm 8: 28). The predestination of Mary is inscribed in the predestination of Jesus, as likewise is that of every human person. The "here I am" of the Mother faithfully echoes the "here I am" of the Son (cf. Heb 10: 6), as does the "here I am" of all adoptive children in the Son, that of us all, precisely.[…]
And then, obviously, there is your love for Our Lady. Indeed, we are here today to commemorate a great act of faith made by your ancestors a century ago when they entrusted their lives to the Mother of Christ, choosing her to be the most important Patroness of the Island. They could not have known then that the 20th century was to be a very difficult century but it was certainly in that consecration to Mary that they subsequently found the strength to face the difficulties that arose, especially with the two World Wars. It could only be like this.
Your Island, dear friends of Sardinia, could have no other protectress than Our Lady. She is the Mother, Daughter and Wife par excellence: "Sa Mama, Fiza, Isposa de su Segnore", as you like to sing. She is the Mother who loves, protects, advises, consoles and gives life so that life may be born and endure. She is the Daughter who honours her family, is ever attentive to the needs of her brothers and sisters and is prompt in making her home beautiful and welcoming; she is the Wife capable of faithful, patient love, of sacrifice and of hope.
In Sardinia at least 350 churches and shrines are dedicated to Mary. A people of mothers is reflected in that humble girl from Nazareth who with her "yes" enabled the Word to become flesh. I well know that Mary is in your hearts. A hundred years later, let us thank her today for her protection and renew our trust in her, recognizing her as the "Star of the New Evangelization" at whose school we may learn how to bring Christ the Saviour to the men and women of our time.
May Mary help you to bring Christ to families, little domestic churches and cells of society, which today more than ever are in need of both spiritual and social trust and support. May she help you to find appropriate pastoral strategies to ensure that Christ is encountered by young people who by their nature bring new dynamism but often fall prey to the widespread nihilism, thirsting for truth and ideals precisely when they seem to deny them. May she render you capable of evangelizing the world of work, the economy and politics which need a new generation of committed lay Christians who can seek competently and with moral rigour sustainable solutions of development.
In all these aspects of Christian commitment you can always count on the guidance and support of the Blessed Virgin. Let us therefore entrust ourselves to her maternal intercession. Mary is the harbour, refuge and protection for the Sardinian people who have within them the strength of oak. When the storm has passed the oak stands strong; fires rage and it sends out new shoots; the drought comes and it wins through once again. Let us therefore renew joyfully our consecration to such a caring Mother. I am sure that generations of Sardinians will continue to climb to the Shrine at Bonaria to invoke the Virgin's protection. Those who entrust themselves to Our Lady of Bonaria, a merciful and powerful Mother, will never be disappointed. May Mary Queen of Peace and Star of Hope intercede for us.