“This is what Jesus wanted for us. He wanted his Mother to be our Mother,” he told a group of some 2,000 young people at Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Montebello, Los Angeles County, on May 1.
“The goal of our life is to follow Jesus and become more like him. So just like Jesus did, we need to learn from our Mother Mary what it means to be a child of God.”
Archbishop Gomez said that he prays the rosary daily and encouraged thanksgiving for the gifts of life, prayer, Christ, Mary and Joseph.
He emphasized that the rosary is not a mere repetition of prayer on our lips, but that “what we're saying with our lips comes from our heart.”
“As we pray with our lips, our minds are contemplating the mysteries of Jesus’ life. The mysteries of his life – as they are seen through his Mother’s eyes.”
He exhorted the youths attending to pray the rosary and to “stay close to Mary.”
May is appropriately dedicated to Mary, he said, because it heralds the coming of spring with the new birth of flowers, plants and crops.
“This reminds us that Mary is the Mother of Life. She is Mother of the new life that comes to us in Jesus Christ,” he explained.
The joyful mysteries focus on the birth of Christ and lead us to see that “God loved us so much that he chose to enter our world as each one of us did — through the womb of a mother,” Archbishop Gomez said.
“Our God loved us so much that he wanted to grow up in a human family and to share our human life.”
God calls us to be “people of life,” he continued, challenging those at the rally to uphold the dignity of all life.
“Let’s pray for life and let’s work to defend life. Every human life — from conception to natural death. Especially the lives of those who are weak and most vulnerable — the elderly, the sick, the handicapped, the child in the womb, the hungry and the poor,” he said.
The archbishop encouraged all those present to help make Los Angeles a city of love, truth, life and peace, by saying yes to Christ, “just as Mary did.”
“And let’s ask her to help us,” he concluded. “Let’s ask her to give us the courage we need and the strength we need to proclaim his beautiful Gospel of Life.”