Celebrating Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis reflected on the ultimate example of obedience demonstrated by Mary at the foot of the Cross. As we look at Mary standing beneath the Cross, “steadfastly following her Son in his suffering, to learn obedience,” we see the Church and our mother, he said the morning of Sept. 15. “By remaining close to both Mary and the Church,” he said, “our 'small soul' will never be lost.” Pope Francis turned to the first reading of Saint Paul to the Hebrews, noting that Paul stressed the importance of three words: “to learn, to obey, and to endure.” In contrast, Adam “did not want to learn that which the Lord commanded” — neither did he wish to “endure, or obey,” the Pope said. “Adam left Paradise with a promise,” one which carried over through the centuries. But Christ, although he is God, “annihilated himself, humbled himself to become servant.” “This is the glory of the Cross of Jesus.” Through Jesus' obedience, death, and humility, the promise made when Adam was sent from Paradise became hope, “and the people of God walked with certain hope.” Standing at the foot of the Cross, the Mother — who Saint Paul refers to as the “New Eve” — “participated in this path of the Son: she learned, she suffered, and obeyed.” On the Gospel passage, Pope Francis reflected Jesus' words to John: “Behold your mother.” Mary, the Pope said, “was anointed Mother.” The Holy Father continued: “And this is also our hope. We are not orphans.” He noted that Mary is our mother, and added that “the Church is also mother... is anointed mother when she takes the same path of Jesus and of Mary: the path of obedience, the path of suffering, and when it has that attitude to continuously learn the journey of the Lord.” Both Mary and the Church, he continued, “carry forward the hope that is Christ, give us Christ, engender Christ within us. Without Mary, there would not have been Jesus Christ; without the Church, we cannot go forward.” “As our fathers left Paradise with a promise,” Pope Francis said, “today we can move forward with a hope: the hope that our Mother Mary, steadfast at the Cross, and our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church, give us.”
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