In his homily for New Year's Day, the Octave Day of Christmas and the feast of Mary, Mother of God, Pope Francis said that whether they may understand it or not, all Christians share in the path of faith taken by Mary as she said yes to doing her part to bring Jesus into the world. "The message of hope contained in this blessing [Num. 6:24-26, today's first reading] was fully realized in a woman, Mary, who was destined to become the Mother of God, and it was fulfilled in her before any other creature," the Pope said.
"Mary has always been present in the hearts, the piety and above all the pilgrimage of faith of the Christian people," the Pope preached, "As far as faith, the hinge of the Christian life, is concerned, the Mother of God shared our condition. She had to take the same path as ourselves, a path which is sometimes difficult and obscure. She had to advance in the 'pilgrimage of faith.'”
"Our pilgrimage of faith has been inseparably linked to Mary ever since Jesus, dying on the Cross, gave her to us as our Mother, saying: “Behold your Mother!” (Jn 19:27). These words serve as a testament, bequeathing to the world a Mother. From that moment on, the Mother of God also became our Mother! When the faith of the disciples was most tested by difficulties and uncertainties, Jesus entrusted them to Mary, who was the first to believe, and whose faith would never fail."
"The Mother of the Redeemer goes before us and continually strengthens us in faith, in our vocation and in our mission," reflected the Pontiff. "By her example of humility and openness to God’s will she helps us to transmit our faith in a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to all, without reservation."