· On the Solemnity of the Assumption the Pope celebrates Mass and leads the Angelus at Castel Gandolfo ·
The Assumption is understood in relation to Easter, the great mystery of Christian salvation. The creature “most immersed in this mystery” is Mary who in her Assumption into Heaven realizes fully in herself the paschal mystery. The Holy Father recalled this on the Feast of the Assumption explaining how Mary is close to us because she is closest to God. In the world she is “the visit of God that creates Joy”. This is why the world worsens as it distances itself from God. Even if some maintain that is becomes better.
Listening were the many faithful gathered for Mass in Castel Gandolfo this past Wednesday in the parish of St Tommaso da Villanova. During his homily the Pope pondered the great heart of Mary, which holds “the whole of creation”. The Virgin, he explained, is for this reason very close to man, she can hear and she can help us all. But there is more. The Virgin, the Pope said, is united to God, she even “has a heart as wide as the heart of God”. Therefore, if “in God there is room for man” so too in man there is room for God. And his presence in us – “so important for illuminating the world in all its sadness, in its problems”, added Benedict XVI - realizes the faith, since in it we open the door of our being to God in order to find the “power which gives life and direction to our being”. And here is the value of the testimony of the Assumption for people today: following her in her openness to God means losing nothing. On the contrary, “our life becomes rich and great”. Many things could be said about the better world that is to be expected, whose coming is “our hope”. If and when this better world comes, Benedict XVI said, “we do not know, I do not know”. But one thing is certain: “God is expecting us, waiting for us, we go out into the void, we are expected”. God expects us: “this is our great joy”, he concluded, “and our great hope that is born from this feast”. At noon the Pontiff led the recitation of the Angelus, coming back again to the reflection on the meaning of this Marian Solemnity with the faithful gathered in the Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace. “In the Catholic Church the dogma of the Assumption,” recalled the Pope, “ was proclaimed during the Holy Year of 1950. The celebration, however, of this mystery is rooted in the faith and veneration of the first centuries of the Church, through which this deep devotion to the Mother of God developed gradually in the Christian community”.
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