“The Shrine of the Hidden Years”
"As I offer this Holy Mass here this morning, in the silence of the moments before dawn, as our hearts rejoice in the Holy Eucharist and with the joy of being within these holy walls, my heart turns to all our members around the world who are with us in spirit. Each day they pray a decade of the rosary as part of the Fraternity Prayers – and as they pray that decade, they meditate on the “Hidden Years” – those years Jesus spent in the midst of his family and community, living an ordinary human life and sanctifying that human life by his divine presence. The stones of this house are the silent witnesses to those years, to the events, to the words spoken; of the love of the members of the Holy Family.
These stones hold within themselves the joyful events – the return from Egypt, Jesus’ childhood, his family and friends coming to call; they witnessed the joy of his bar mitzvah and the family prayers. They also witnessed sorrow – the death of St Joseph, which probably took place here; the departure of Jesus when he began his public ministry. Here Mary prayed and Joseph worked. Here the Son of God slept soundly, here he ate, and studied. Here, God-made-Man taught us how to live our humanity in its fullness.
Here, where the Word was made flesh, we are immersed in the great mystery of the Incarnation: may that mystery shape our lives, our hopes, our dreams and our destiny.
We are in the Shrine of the Hidden Years, and so here this morning, I wish to bring all our members into the heart of the mystery which is enshrined and remembered here. Let us commend our Fraternity, our members, those we pray for, and all those who befriend us, to the Holy Family of Nazareth: to Christ whom we serve; to Mary, whom we love as a Mother and Teacher; and to Joseph, who protects us. May all our members who today, and every day, finger their beads as they pray this mystery, receive from the store of his graces, every blessing and joy."
Homily, Dawn Mass in the Santa Casa, this morning.