By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Thursday held up the plea of Mary at the marriage feast of Cana - “They have no wine” - and called on Chileans to be attentive to the needs of the oppressed, the exploited and the dispossessed and ensure they don’t “miss the joy of the party”.
Pope Francis made the exhortation in his homily at a Mass for the integration of peoples celebrated in honour of Our Lady of Carmel, Mother and Queen of Chile, at Campus Lobito in the northern city of Iquique.
Party at Cana – contagious joy
Holding out the episode of the “party” at Cana, Pope Francis said that the “Gospel is a constant invitation to joy” as it happened with Mary at the Annunciation, the shepherds, Elizabeth and the good thief. “The Gospel message is a wellspring of joy,” the Pope said.
The people of northern Chile, the Pope noted, are no stranger to this “contagious” joy of the Gospel, which is visible in their patron’s feasts, religious dances, popular pieties, singing, dancing and music which “turn the whole town into a party”.
“They have no wine”
The Pope said that the Gospel shows how Mary, when she notices something that could “water down” the joy of the party, simply approaches Jesus and tells Him: “They have no wine”. The Pope said Mary continues to do so “through our towns, our streets, our squares, our homes and our hospitals.
The Pope further explained that at Cana, Mary makes Jesus’ friends feel that they too are part of the miracle. “Do whatever he tells you”, she says. The Pope said, “each one of us is invited to be part of the miracle for others.”
Lend a hand
Noting that Iquique is a region of immigrants, where people and families arrive in search of life, the Pope urged its inhabitants to ensure that it also continues to be a land of hospitality. “There is no Christian joy when doors are closed,” the Pope said. “There is no Christian joy when others are made to feel unwanted, when there is no room for them in our midst.”
The Holy Father urged them to raise their voice with Mary saying, “They have no wine”, and be “attentive to all situations of injustice and to new forms of exploitation that risk making so many of our brothers and sisters miss the joy of the party.”
Like the servants at the party, Pope Francis said, let us offer what have, and “not be afraid to ‘lend a hand’”.