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By Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, First Things, Nov. 28, 2019
Salvatore J. Cordileone is the archbishop of San Francisco.
This essay was given as a homily on November 16, 2019, at the Mass of the Americas at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, directly over the spot where our Lord’s Cross stood, there stands a Greek altar. Directly next to it is a Latin altar, and in between the two altars hangs an icon of the Mother of God. Right at that point of encounter, where she stood 2,000 years ago at the foot of the Cross, she now stands uniting East and West, Greek and Latin.
She is our Mother, whom we all venerate, and she wants her Son’s disciples to be one. She continues to intercede for this intention, that her Son’s dying wish may be fulfilled: “that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us” (John 17:21).
This Mass we celebrate today, the “Mass of the Americas,” speaks to the power of our Mother to unite her children. She stands there in every generation of the Church, interceding for her children and actively leading them to her Son, that they may be united as one in him. Throughout history she has appeared in every corner of the earth, especially in turbulent and threatening moments, making herself present to her children to both admonish and console, to exhort and reveal, to call both to prayer and to penance, so that all of her children might be led more deeply into the heart of her Son. ….