Angelus, 13 September 1987 Apostolic journey to the United States of America and Canada

1. At the end of this Eucharistic celebration, I invite you to join me in praying the Angelus. Whenever we turn to Mary the Mother of God in prayer, we are reminded that she is “full of grace“. This is how the Angel Gabriel greeted her at the time of the Annunciation: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luc. 1, 28). And indeed these words of the angel are true. Of all the people God has created, she alone was always free from sin. From the first moment of her existence she was in communion with the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Mary responded to this great gift of God with openness and generosity: “Let it be done to me”, she said, “according to your word” (Ibid. 1, 38).

2. Like Mary, we too have been given the gift of God’s grace, even though we have not received its fullness. Like Mary, we are called to respond, to be open to God’s word, to be generous in saying yes to God. For us this means doing God’s will, living according to his commandments, serving our neighbour, avoiding sin. In other words, with Mary we must respond with love to God’s love.

Let us turn then to Mary whom we honour under many titles, but here today in San Antonio under her special title of Our Lady of Guadalupe.