On January 1—the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God—Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and emphasized in his homily that “we are a people with a Mother; we are not orphans.”
“Mothers are the strongest antidote to our individualistic and egotistic tendencies, to our lack of openness and our indifference,” he preached. “A society without mothers would not only be a cold society, but a society that has lost its heart, lost the ‘feel of home.’”
“To begin the year by recalling God’s goodness in the maternal face of Mary, in the maternal face of the Church, in the faces of our own mothers, protects us from the corrosive disease of being ‘spiritual orphans,’” he continued. “This sense of being orphaned lodges in a narcissistic heart capable of looking only to itself and its own interests. It grows when what we forget that life is a gift we have received—and owe to others—a gift we are called to share in this common home.”
Pope Francis added:
Celebrating the feast of the Holy Mother of God makes us smile once more as we realize that we are a people, that we belong, that only within a community, within a family, can we as persons find the “climate”, the “warmth” that enables us to grow in humanity, and not merely as objects meant to “consume and be consumed.” To celebrate the feast of the Holy Mother of God reminds us that we are not interchangeable items of merchandise or information processors. We are children, we are family, we are God’s People.