Cardinal Parolin closes Lauretan Jubilee encouraging prayer and charity
By Lisa Zengarini
10 December marked the closing of the Lauretan Jubilee that commemorated the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of our Lady of Loreto as Patroness of all airmen on 24 March 1920. The Jubilee year was declared by Pope Francis on December 8, 2019 and was prolonged to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presiding over the celebration of the closure of the Holy Door at the Marian Shrine of the Holy House of Nazareth in Loreto was Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who brought the blessing and greetings of Pope Francis.
Mary's quiet humility
In his homily, the Vatican Secretary of State highlighted the Blessed Virgin’s quiet humility and loving obedience to God’s will as an example for Christians, encouraging the faithful then to live in prayer and charity with total abandonment to the Lord.
“The Holy House leads us to reflect on the dispositions of docility, willingness, silence that allow the Lord to work, not only in the history of Salvation, but also in the personal history of each one of us”, Cardinal Parolin said.
He went on to call attention on the “simplicity” of the Annunciation: “It is always surprising to reflect on how the event that changed the course of history took place away from the spotlight”. This, he said, tells us that “God loves the simplicity that we often underestimate”.
Cardinal Parolin hence highlighted the need for Christians to “welcome the invitation to simplicity”: “Our daily life is certainly complex and so are the times we are living in. Yet we must be vigilant so that this complexity does not affect our hearts too” so “we can devote time to what really matters”, he said.
Prayer and charity
Prayer is one of those things, he pointed out, again recalling the Blessed Virgin’s example: “With her simplicity, Mary teaches us the primacy of prayer”. The Secretary of State further reminded that the Mother of God is also an example of service and charity: indeed, she is “the Servant of the Lord”. Prayer and charity are therefore the essentials of Christian life we should aim for, he emphasized.
Wrapping up his homily, Cardinal Parolin, recalled Mary’s total abandonment to God’s will which was linked to her faith and expressed by her response to the Archangel: “May it be done to me according to your word”.
Saying 'yes' to God
“May our Amen rise to God today at the conclusion of this Jubilee”, Cardinal Parolin concluded. “May it be a full ‘yes’, animated by the simple and radical desire to place the Lord at the foundation of our lives, by our will to entrust ourselves to Him because He is stronger than any adversity; because, as Mary teaches us, when we have the Lord, we lack nothing”.