Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pope Benedict speaks of Mary and the Cross of Jesus

Lourdes, Sep 14, 2008 / 02:18 pm (CNA).- More than 100,000 pilgrims gathered in Lourdes on Sunday morning for the final Mass of the celebrations surrounding the 150th anniversary of the apparitions at Lourdes. “There is a love in this world that is stronger than death,” than our sins and our imperfections, the Pope proclaimed as he led the celebration of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

The final Mass, which was held on the meadow adjacent to the Shrine of Lourdes, commenced shortly after Pope Benedict made his way through the crowd in his popemobile.

"On this day when the Church's liturgy celebrates the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross", he said in his homily, "the Gospel you have just heard reminds us of the meaning of this great mystery: ... The Son of God became vulnerable, assuming the condition of a slave, obedient even to death, death on a cross. By His Cross we are saved.

"The instrument of torture, which on Good Friday manifested God's judgment on the world, has become a source of life, pardon, mercy, a sign of reconciliation and peace,” the Pope stated. ... The Church invites us ... to give thanks to God because from a tree which brought death, life has burst out anew."

"It is significant," he observed, "that during the first apparition to Bernadette Mary begins the encounter with the sign of the Cross," this is "an initiation into the mysteries of the faith that Bernadette receives from Mary. The sign of the Cross is a kind of synthesis of our faith, ... it tells us that there is a love in this world that is stronger than death. ... The power of love is stronger than the evil which threatens us. It is this mystery of the universality of God's love for men that Mary came to reveal here, in Lourdes." (Continued here.)

No comments: