“Mary points us to Jesus,” Bishop Malooly told attendees at the closing Mass Oct. 11 of the annual diocesan Marian Pilgrimage at Holy Spirit Church in New Castle.
The Blessed Mother “asks us to bear witness to Jesus; she constantly guides us to her son. She is a bridge to him.”
The annual pilgrimage has been held in recent years at Holy Spirit because it’s the site of the Shrine of Our Lady, Queen of Peace statue that’s visible to motorists coming from and heading to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The 5 p.m. Mass, after the pilgrimage day that began at 1 p.m. with Benediction and a talk by Vincentian Father Michael Shea, was followed by the rosary at the shrine and the commitment of the diocese to the Immaculate Conception.
The bishop added in his homily that Mary’s life, her openness to God, guides to Jesus in ways Pope Francis asked the faithful to be open to God in October 2013.
On Oct. 13 that year, the pope said, “God surprises us, God asks us to be faithful and he will be our strength.”
The closer “we are to God in our prayer life,” the bishop said, “the easier it is for God to surprise us. Because we are focused, we are able to accept the challenges he places before us.”
Mary did not hide her surprise when the angel appeared to her but she accepted God’s plan “never ever guessing what this plan would be.”
Mary was faithful to God, also an “image our Holy Father places before us,” the bishop said. “As Mary was faithful, it’s important to persevere in living out our faith commitments.”
Just as the pope said God is our strength, the bishop noted, Mary received that strength when she said “yes” to the angel and “the first thing she does after the Annunciation is an act of charity,” when she visits Elizabeth to help in her pregnancy.
“To be faithful every day is a challenge for all of us,” Bishop Malooly said. “Mary’s life was a journey in faith. Relying on Mary as we do today, we can continue our journey in confidence that we are on the right path and are following her son appropriately.”