(CNA).- During Wednesday’s general audience in Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of there being a “nexus” between the Blessed Virgin Mary and the priesthood. Like St. John, he said, all priests “are called to accept her into their home.”
Pope Benedict pointed out that this nexus is rooted in the mystery of the Incarnation. “God does not act against our freedom,” he explained. “He needed the yes of his creatures.”
“St. Bernard of Clairvaux, in one of his homilies, explained in dramatic manner this decisive moment of universal history, when heaven, earth and God Himself await this creature’s response,” he added.
“Mary is truly and profoundly involved in the mystery of the Incarnation, of our salvation. … Sacrifice, the priesthood and the Incarnation go together and Mary is at the heart of this mystery,” the Pontiff said.
Pope Benedict also reflected on the tie between priests and Mary.
From the cross, Jesus sees his mother and the beloved apostle, an important individual, but more importantly a prefigurement of loved people and especially all priests.
“The Second Vatican Council invites priests to see Mary as the perfect model of their existence,” the Pope added.
“The Curé d'Ars, who we think of this year especially, loved to repeat that after Jesus Christ gave us everything he could give, he wanted to make us heirs of what was most precious to him, his holy mother,” the Pope continued. “This applies to all Christians, but especially for priests.”
"Every priest can and should truly feel himself to be the son of this most holy and most humble mother," he said.
The Holy Father concluded by expressing his closeness to the people of Taiwan, China, Philippines and Japan, who were recently hit by a typhoon. “I call on everyone to pray for them and for those who lost their lives. I hope that the relief of solidarity and the help of material aid will not be lacking.”