Cardenal Adalberto Martínez Flores en Tuparenda, 18.10.2023

Posted On 2023-10-26 In Covenant Life

Card. Adalberto Martínez Flores: Young people encourage us to be a synodal Church

PARAGUAY, Cardenal Adalberto Martínez Homily in Tuparenda, October 18, 2023 •

On October 18, a multitude of believers participated in the feast in honor of the Virgin of Schoenstatt in the Shrine of Tupãrenda, which is located at kilometer 37 of Ypacaraí. Four Masses were celebrated and the second one was presided by Cardinal Adalberto Martínez Flores, Metropolitan Archbishop of Asunción, President of the Paraguayan Episcopal Conference. On October 18, in Tupãrenda, it was celebrated under the motto: “With Mary, a family in covenant in service of a synodal Church”.

Cardenal Adalberto Martínez Flores en Tuparenda, 18.10.2023

Cardenal Adalberto Martínez Flores en Tuparenda, 18.10.2023

We share the homily of Cardinal Adalberto Martinez, of extraordinary relevance not only for Paraguay:

Sisters and brothers:

It is a great joy to share this Eucharist with you, with so many pilgrims coming from so many places, on the feast of our Mother, in this beautiful shrine that embraces us all, in communion with the Universal Church that, with Peter and under the guidance of Peter, Pope Francis, who gathers in Synod representatives from all countries and continents to converse in the Spirit, discern and walk together in synodality.

It is wonderful that the Schoenstatt family, in all its branches and communities in Paraguay, and especially in this Mass shared with the youth, is associating itself with this moment in the life of the Church through celebration, prayer, and mission, under the theme: “With Mary, a family in covenant in service of a synodal Church.”

Mary cares and takes care of us; she encounters us to meet our needs

Mary is concerned and cares for us; she encounters us to meet our needs. Mary places herself between her Son and us in her poverty, indigence and sufferings. She puts herself “in the midst”, she mediates not as a stranger, but in her mission as a mother; aware that as such, she can, “has the right to”, present our needs to her Son.

Today, more than ever, we need hope and joy to flow, but we need vigilant people, like Mary, who dare to grasp the needs of others, who act, without delay and without excuses, with concrete responses to the needs of our suffering neighbor. (Mary-icha, oñeanimáva ojagarrávo ambue tapicha remikotevẽ, ( ha) oactuáva, retraso’ỹre excusa’ỹre, ha’e techakua’a ivecino ohasa’asývape).

Mary participates in this salvation plan of God and shows us the qualities of a young girl from Nazareth who is an inspiring example for those reaching for holiness, especially a model of holiness for each of you, dear young people.

Mary was still a young girl (mitakuñai-ete) when God proposed to her the noble mission of being the Mother of the Savior. God, in this way, bursts into Mary’s life when she is young, when she is just beginning to open herself to the world, when her heart is full of illusions, projects and great aspirations.

And Mary surrendered herself generously to God’s plan. She says “Yes”. Mary’s response shows a great capacity for faith, trust, surrender and availability. But she also shows her young spirit, by accepting the risky commitment, by her openness to the new and by her big heart (Ha avei ohechauka Kuñatai ojepe’áva Espíritu Santo-pe, o’aceptágui compromiso arriesgado, ojeabri haguére pe ipyahúvape ha ikorasõ guasúre).

The Virgin Mary has the vital experience of her poverty, indigence and need for God’s saving intervention. In the song of the “Magnificat” (Lk 1:46-55), she proclaims that God helps the humble and changes the situation of injustice, oppression and privilege that the powerful try to maintain for their own advantage. Mary is a sign of liberation for all of us. Like her, we can aspire to our own total liberation from evil, from sin and from slavery or unjust situations, counting on God’s help.

“Trust, and nothing but trust, can lead us to Love”

In these days on October 15, Pope Francis has presented us a beautiful and inspiring apostolic exhortation on the life of another young woman, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who asked Pope Leo XIII for permission to enter the Carmelite convent of Lesieux at the age of 15 and, after 9 years of intensive life of prayer and service, despite being in the enclosure of the cloister, she died at the age of only 24. The Church has her as a model. A young woman of 24 years of age, who had no great studies or degrees, nevertheless, she is a Doctor of the Church, for her spiritual teaching, whose center is Love.

Pope Francis begins his apostolic exhortation with this phrase: “Trust, and nothing but trust, can lead us to Love”. These strong words of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face say it all, they summarize the genius of her spirituality and would be enough to justify her being declared a Doctor of the Church.

(Mitãkuña Thérèsa rekove ha testimonio ñanembo’e pe santidad ha’eha opavave guará, precisamente ikatúgui ja’aspira santidad-pe japraktikavo caridad tekove ára ha ára, jepe ñañeñandu michĩ ha mérito’ỹre, con confianza, totalmente ña ño añuaro Túva rehe).

St.Therese lives charity in littleness, in the simplest things of daily existence, and she does so in the company of the Virgin Mary, learning from her that “to love is to give everything, to give oneself even to oneself.” In fact, while the preachers of her time often spoke of Mary’s greatness in a triumphalist way, as being far above us, St. Therese shows, starting from the Gospel, that Mary is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven because she is the least (cf. Mt 18:4), the closest to Jesus in his humiliation (Apostolic Exhortation on St. Therese).

Cardinal Adalberto Martínez: Young people are not asking us to do something different, but rather to be different

During the youth synod that lasted from 2016 to 2019, the Church went through a process in which it realized that you, the young people, are not asking us to do something different, but to be different. This is a great approach that leads us to stop thinking of you as recipients, but rather to think about our ecclesial identity with you. At the Youth Synod, the word “Synodality” was emphasized; it seems that it is being used for the first time with young people. As if synodality with young people were only the beginning of new synodalities, perhaps with the persecuted churches, or with women, or the poor, or the other churches, or the world in general. As if the synod on youth, a topic that is not very controversial and generates all hopes, had paved the way for a new way of being church in process of discernment.

Like the Virgin Mary, like St. Therese of the Child Jesus, like our Blessed Mary Felicia of Jesus in the Sacrament, it is in our hearts and in our daily actions that we must manifest the love and mercy of Jesus. We cannot be indifferent to the suffering of our brothers and sisters, but must be agents of change and promoters of justice. This implies loving our neighbor as ourselves, loving other young people who have fallen into the painful addictions of drugs and lost their horizons of hope, good Samaritans, apostles of hope and prevention to avoid the hell of drug addiction, loving like Jesus, forgiving those who have hurt us and extending a compassionate hand to those most in need.

The Lord wants a Church that is a “light yoke” (cf. Mt 11:30), that does not place burdens on everyone and that repeats to all: “Come, all you who are afflicted and burdened, come you who have lost your way or who feel far away, come you who have closed the door to hope, the Church is here for you! The Church with open doors for everyone, everyone, everyone (Francis, October 4, 2023).

Artisans of peace

Brothers and sisters, young people and families, in this troubled and challenging world, we cannot forget the call of Jesus to follow His footsteps. We must be bearers of his love and mercy, living witnesses of his resurrection and hope. We must be courageous in our faith and not allow hatred and violence to discourage us. We pray for peace in the Middle East. Young people together with Jesus Prince of Peace are also called to be artisans of peace, of social peace in Paraguay. The Virgin Mother weeps bitterly when discord and hatred destroy the lives of her children. When her children in our country have suffered disappearances from the bosom of the home, with unknown whereabouts, hundreds of children and young people kidnapped or abandoned by their parents, or have suffered some kind of abuse, young people without jobs or those who have lost their jobs. Young people and families Artisans of La Paz who wipe the tears of the suffering and collaborating and denouncing cases of missing persons (more than 1000 missing persons) and abuses of minors and vulnerable adults with the competent authorities, with the justice system, the national police or other instances.

It is our duty as disciples of Christ not to fear the forces of evil, but to fight them with the light of love and truth.

From their experience as an apostolic family, they can contribute to the spirit and practice of Synodality in the Church

For this reason, I reaffirm my joy and happiness because the Schoenstatt Family of Paraguay welcomes faithfully, from its specific spirituality, the orientations of the Second Vatican Council and accompanies the Successor of Peter to promote and make a synodal Church a reality, in coherence with the will of Christ, the Lord. From their experience as apostolic family, they can contribute to the spirit and practice of Synodality in the Church and the family to defend and promote its mission of being the social pillar, capital of Grace to fulfill its mission of being promoter and advocate of life from conception to natural death, educator and bearer of the faith, cradle of vocations and promoter of the social good. To live in the Covenant of Love with Mary and with the brothers and sisters should move them to live the Synodality in the groups, branches and communities of this great Schoenstatt family.

As baptized, participate actively in the mission of the Church and be bearers, signs, of the best wine, which becomes a feast for the joy of the Gospel. Make our Homeland a holy, Marian land, a nation of God.

With Mary in the center, as in the Cenacle, let us walk as a synodal Church in Paraguay, in full communion with the Magisterium of Pope Francis, and let us be witnesses of God’s love by serving our neighbor with mercy, because that is the measure of love for God and because that is the protocol of holiness and the way that opens the door to receive the reward reserved for the righteous (cf. Matthew 25:34-40).

So be it.
October 18th, 2023, Blessed Mother’s Day and the feast of St. Luke, Evangelist.

+ Adalberto Cardenal Martínez Flores
Metropolitan Archbishop of Asuncion
President of the Paraguayan Episcopal Conference

Cardenal Adalberto Martínez Flores en Tuparenda, 18.10.2023

Cardenal Adalberto Martínez Flores en Tuparenda, 18.10.2023


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