05 Jan Mother Hope, pray for us!
Mother Hope, pray for us!
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, 12th of September this year we have organized a memorable pilgrimage to the indulgence of St. Virgin Mary birth in Šiluva. That day, St. Mass was offered for the youth and Catholic communities. Addressing the assembled pilgrims, Bishop Rimantas Norvila said in his speech of homily: Jesus spoke to his disciples: where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. These words are perhaps the best way to describe what is that Christian community. Otherwise, we could say that this is a gathering of believers, where Lord also participating and is respected and welcomed. Such a Christian community is also a strong support for its members in life. Where you can receive reinforcement, encouragement and consolation if necessary. Such a community is also a space of mutual trust. For every person it is important refreshing and strengthening experience. It is also a field of human growth and spiritual maturation, in which Christian values and virtues are spreading. And in this way, they grow and unfold in us. Such a community is usually also a prayer school and motivator, inspiring to do good deeds. The community of believers where the Lord is invited, becomes a spring of spiritual joy. It is also a path to closer communion with God. And it changes us consistently and makes us more like children of God. Always rising us up. As well as so many other not mentioned good things in the Christian community comes to us. What transformation this is, what is this way and the path for this transformation and rising up. To better understand this, I will support my words by Pope St. Francis, who spoke during quarantine, which has frozen the world on 21st of April of this year Pope St. Francis commenting on gospel of St. John about thoughts on the revival from above, have said: being born from above means being born with the power of the Holy Spirit. It is it who carries out changes, transformations, revivals. Holy Spirit can do a miracles, things that we cannot think off, said the Pope. In the very depths of quarantine, when many of the regular, everyday human life activities were slowed down in most parts of the world, the pope encouraged people, who are in suspense and anxiety, to think about the revival from above coming under the influence of the Holy Spirit. At the same time recalling that only when the Holy Spirit acts on us it reveals all the good that comes from above. And in the communities where God is invited and welcomed, the Holy Spirit is that main breath of refreshment promised by Jesus and the guardian who walked into the people’s space during the Whit Sunday. This was reminder for us, during St. Mass, from the second reading of the Book of Apostles. Before the first Whit Sunday, before the Holy Spirit came down, the apostles and Mary Mother of Jesus, She is also exceptionally mentioned, sat together for a united prayer. It happened in their small community. Finally, as Jesus promised, guardian came down and His disciples were transformed. What is this magic word – transform. From the reserved, timid disciples of Jesus, they suddenly turned into good news preachers and witnesses, without fear of even martyrdom, persecution. At that time, the Holy Spirit was the power that led to such great changes within the apostles, in their thinking, in their behavior, in words, in preaching. They were liberated by the Spirit from fear and uncertainty that had been binding them. They have been changed from above. And our honored Virgin Mary in Šiluva also participated in the same joyful change. She is today becoming for us a witness and teacher of aliveness of the Christian community, of ascension to the heights, the witness and teacher of this transformation. Here in the sanctuary of the Mother of God, let us rediscover the bliss and strength of christian community of believers in which the Holy Spirit operates. I would like to again remember Pope Francis.
More recently, in addition to other invokes in litany of Mary, he suggested adding a new one: Mother of Hope pray for us! Mary, who attended with apostle disciples of Jesus in the first Whit Sunday, in the change of that small community, is the mother of Hope for the whole church. Much like the Catholic communities in the parishes, dioceses, in all local church are the local points of hope and the spreaders of that hope. They spread not only hope, but also the light of faith and God’s love, testifies that a closer relationship with God is available to man through faith communities. The Christian hope and joy that is grown and matured in communion ignites us and encourages us to share goodness with others, to spread it, to change the lives of many people, so that they would become much more meaningful. As the magnet attracts iron, so this raised above and transformed person in the community, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, attract others who are not sufficiently familiar with that goodness that comes from above. They don’t understand how this goodness is spreading, but they see, feel, live through, by understanding it to be something beautiful, good, even wonderful. Faith communities together also brings that which is very important in our days – blessings for the families, loved ones, especially families. They are a wonderful opportunity to sustain faith, altogether with refreshing spiritual spring. After thinking about it today, away from everyday life business and concerns, let’s ask the The Virgin Mary to help us building and strengthen Catholic communities so that they would be a true hope of the church, a strong support for those seeking God. Shelter and oasis for the inner refreshment.
We thank the Lord for the grace and blessings we have experienced, by being together in communion, for the common prayer.