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Gomez: Throughout church’s history, Mary has brought ‘a message of hope’
LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Mary’s role in history has been as “a mother bearing a message of hope,” from the first days of the church “when the mother of Jesus was at the center of the apostles’ community in Jerusalem,” said Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez.
“As believers, we need to see beyond the chaos of current events and seek to find the will of God in the present moment,” he wrote in his Sept. 30 “New World of Faith” column in Angelus, the archdiocesan online news outlet.
“For this, Mary holds the key because it is through her that Jesus Christ entered into human history. And he is still at work, shaping the world’s course and direction,” he said.
He said he has been thinking a lot about Our Lady of Guadalupe, noting that at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, where he lives, there is an outdoor chapel to Our Lady where he often stops to pray.
“She was sent by God to the people of Mexico at a time of great uncertainty and political unrest,” Archbishop Gomez said, times not unlike what is facing the United States. “Plague and earthquakes were devastating the population, and there was violence and racial conflict, and widespread suffering and injustice.”
“Into this historical and cultural moment, Our Lady came as a mother bearing a message of hope. ‘Let not your heart be disturbed,’ she told St. Juan Diego,” he said.
Catholics today “need to keep getting closer to Mary,” he added. “We need to enter more deeply into her way of seeing and her way of living. This is the secret of the saints. Everything that Mary does points us to her Son — to his commandments, to the mysteries of his life, to giving up our own will to follow him and share in his mission.”
This nation is in need of prayer to Mary, he said, so on Oct. 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, as the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he will lead the nation in a virtual rosary event. He has invited several bishops, representing the various geographical regions of the United States, to pray a part of the rosary.
The event will premiere on the USCCB’s YouTube channel and its Facebook page at 3 p.m. Eastern time (12 p.m. Pacific time) on Oct. 7. Catholics are “encouraged to share where they are praying from, to post a photo of their rosary and to leave a prayer intention for our country,” according to a USCCB news release announcing the prayer event.
“Our hope is to unite Catholic people from across the country in a moment of prayer for our nation, at a time when there is so much unrest and uncertainty,” Archbishop Gomez said in his column.
“In every age, Mary’s maternal care is an expression of God’s providence, his plan of love for history and for every soul. And in the troubles of this present moment, we need to entrust ourselves even more to her care,” he said.
“As we seek our Blessed Mother’s intercession for our nation,” he added, “I hope that we will also make this a moment to deepen our own commitments to Mary — to dedicate ourselves to her and to let her teach us how to offer our hearts to serve Christ and his beautiful plan of salvation history. Let us live all for Jesus through the heart of Mary!”
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The USCCB will be using the hashtag #RosaryForAmerica on its social media. More details are also available at lacatholics.org/rosary-for-america.