VATICAN CITY, JAN 12, 2000 (VIS) - "Mary's place on the journey to the
Father" was the theme of the Pope's catechesis during the general audience,
held today in the Paul VI Hall.

   The Holy Father stated that Mary may be found "on the path that leads
from the Father to humanity, as the mother who donates the Savior Son to
everyone. At the same time, she is on the journey that men must follow to
reach the Father through Christ in the Spirit."

   "Mary's maternal mediation," he continued, "is 'mediation in Christ'." It
is "the greatest fruit of Christ's mediation, and is essentially oriented
to rendering our meeting with Him more intimate and profound."

   The Holy Father highlighted that, "in reality, Mary does not wish to draw
attention to herself. She lived on earth with her eyes fixed on Jesus and
on the heavenly Father. Her greatest desire is to lead everyone's eyes to
look in the same direction. She wishes to prompt us to look with faith and
hope to the Savior sent to us by the Father."

   The Virgin, he added, "was a model of (one who looks) in faith and hope,"
especially in her Son's Passion. In this way, Mary "encourages the Church
and believers to always carry out the Father's will, which was made
manifest in Christ."

   The Holy Father commented on Mary's words to the servants at the wedding
feast of Cana: "Do whatever he tells you." This is "an exhortation to enter
the new historical period with the determination to carry out all that
Christ said in the Gospel in the name of the Father and that He now
intimates to us through the Spirit that lives within us."

   The Pope concluded: "If we do as Christ says, the new millennium may take
on a new aspect, more evangelical and authentically Christian, and thus
respond to Mary's greatest aspiration."
AG/MARY/...     VIS 20000112 (320)

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