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Church needs courageous women like Mary, Pope says

Women who serve their families with joy are courageous, the Pope said during a morning homily

The Church needs the service of the many women who continue to follow Mary’s example of courage and service despite the odds, Pope Francis has said.

Women who serve with joy to bring their families forward in life, to ensure their children’s education and who “face so many adversities and who heal the sick” are courageous, the Pope said yesterday during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Commemorating the feast of the Visitation, when the pregnant Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist, the Pope said the memorial is a “breath of fresh air” that highlights the importance of joy in Christian life.

Christians who are sad, he said, can seem “ugly” and although “they think they are Christian, they are not fully.” Joy is the Christian message “which today’s liturgy gives us as a gift.”

The Pope noted Mary’s courageous service in visiting her cousin Elizabeth despite being pregnant herself and who “gets up and goes without excuses.”

“Service is a Christian sign. Those who do not live to serve,” serve very little purpose in life. “To serve with joy: this is the attitude that I would like to underline today. There is joy and also service; always (willing) to serve,” he said.

Another Christian sign, Pope Francis said, is the willingness to meet with others. Both serving and encountering others like Mary, he added, require Christians to come out of themselves.

“With this service of Mary, with this encounter, the Lord’s promise is renewed; it takes place in the present. And the Lord – as we heard in the first reading: ‘The Lord your God is in your midst’ – the Lord is in service, the Lord is in the encounter,” the Pope said.


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    It’s not like Mary had much choice in the matter. In Matthew, “she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” Nobody asked for her consent. Women were property. This is confirmed in Luke where the angel said, “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” The angel did not ask for her consent. When Mary asks how this will come to pass since she’s a virgin, the angel says, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…” She’s not given any say in the matter; her opinion is not requested or considered to be of any interest or value. Basically she was raped just like Zeus raped Leda. This was a common theme for pagan gods of the time.
    I imagine that it took some courage to be a woman in those days – even more so than now, when they are still treated as second class citizens, primarily by religions. As with most rape victims, Mary had little choice in the matter, but we celebrate her courage, even though she was little more than chattel. Even Jesus treated her badly.
    The real courage we need to see is women standing up and throwing off the yoke of religious oppression.

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