During his morning Mass at the Vatican, Pope Francis compared the Church to a widowed mother who protects her children. Reflecting on the Gospel readings, the Pope talked about the important and challenging role widows have in the Bible. He even compared them to the mission of the Church.
"Our reconciliation with the Lord does not end with the dialogue 'You, me and the priest who pardons me. No! It ends when He leads us to our Mother. That's a true reconciliation, because there is no path of life, there is no forgiveness, there is no reconciliation outside the Mother Church. So, seeing this poor widow, all these things come to me somewhat randomly - But I see in this widow the icon of the widowhood of the Church who is on a journey to find her Groom. I get the urge to ask the Lord for the grace of always being confident of our mother, who defends us, teaches us, helps us grow and teaches us to speak her dialect.”
The Pope then added that the Church, like any other mother, should live the joys and trials of her children. Doing the opposite, he said, would indicate that something is wrong.
SUMMARY'S OF POPE HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"Jesus has, 'the capacity to suffer with us, to be close to our sufferings and make them His own. Jesus had great compassion for this widow who had now lost her son.
"The Bridegroom is gone and she walks in history, hoping to find him, to meet with Him – and she will be His true bride. In the meantime she - the Church - is alone! The Lord is nowhere to be seen. She has a certain dimension of widowhood ... and that makes me makes me think of the widowhood of the Church. This courageous Church, which defends her children, like the widow who went to the corrupt judge to and eventually won. Our Mother Church is courageous! She has the courage of a woman who knows that her children are her own, and must defend them and bring them to the meeting with her Spouse.
"This dimension of widowhood of the Church, who is journeying through history, hoping to meet, to find her Husband… Our Mother the Church is thus! She is a Church that, when she is faithful, knows how to cry. When the Church does not cry, something is not right. She weeps for her children, and prays! A Church that goes forward and does rear her children, gives them strength and accompanies them until the final farewell in order to leave them in the hands of her Spouse, who at the end will come to encounter her. This is our Mother Church! I see her in this weeping widow. And what does the Lord say to the Church? "Do not cry. I am with you, I’ll take you, I’ll wait for you there, in the wedding, the last nuptials, those of the Lamb. Stop [your tears]: this son of yours was dead, now he lives. This is the dialogue of the Lord with the Church. She defends the children, but when she sees that the children are dead, she crys, and the Lord says to her: ‘I am with you and your son is with me.’ As he told the boy at Naim to get up from his deathbed, many times Jesus also tells us to get up, when we are dead because of sin and we are going to ask for forgiveness.”