"Like Mary, by saying yes to the whole of history, not just to a part of it. Like Joseph, by putting aside our passions and pride. Like Jesus Christ, by taking hold of that history, assuming it, embracing it."
"That is who you are, that is who Colombians are, that is where you find your identity. God can do all this if we say yes to truth, to goodness, to reconciliation, if we fill our history of sin, violence and rejection with the light of the Gospel," he said.
In his homily, the Pope also referenced the day's Gospel, which tells the long genealogy of Jesus.
This long list helps us to keep a good perspective – it shows us what a small part we play in the vast history of the world and integrates into salvation history "those pages which are the darkest and saddest, moments of desolation and abandonment comparable to exile."
The people of Colombia have their own genealogies, he continued. "Here too we can write genealogies full of stories, many of love and light; others of disagreement, insults, even of death…How many of you can tell of exile and grief!"
The genealogy of Christ mentions numerous women, he pointed out. In communities still weighed down with "patriarchal and chauvinistic customs, it is good to note that the Gospel begins by highlighting women who were influential and made history."
Noting that Sept. 8 is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Francis particularly highlighted Mary as an example of the light of reconciliation breaking into the world, because she is "the first light who announces night's end, and above all, the impending day."
"Her birth helps us to understand the loving, tender, compassionate plan of love in which God reaches down and calls us to a wonderful covenant with him, that nothing and no one will be able to break."
Mary transmits God's light, he concluded. And just like Mary, we need to say 'yes' to reconciliation, "and sing with her 'the wonders of the Lord,' for as he has promised to our fathers, he helps all nations and peoples, he helps Colombia which today wishes to be reconciled; it is a promise made also to its descendants forever."