In yesterday's general audience at Castelgandolfo, the Pope spoke about the Canticle of the last chapter of the Book of Isaiah, "In the city of God, consolation and joy." The Holy Father said that this joyful song of Isaiah is dominated by the maternal figure of Jerusalem and the attentive love of God Himself" who rejoices in the happiness of His people. "The origin and reason for this interior joy lie in the rediscovered vitality of Jerusalem" after "the dark period of Babylonian exile. ... Jerusalem becomes once again a mother-city that embraces, feeds and delights her children, that is, her inhabitants." "Jerusalem's prosperity, its 'peace' (shalom), a generous gift from God, will assure her children a life full of maternal tenderness: 'You will be carried in her arms, caressed on her knee' and this maternal tenderness will be the tenderness of God Himself: 'As a mother consoles a son, so too will I console you'. In this way, the Lord uses a maternal metaphor to describe His love for His creatures." John Paul II said that "before the mother-city it is easy to extend our gaze to the profile of the Church, virgin and fruitful mother." The Church, he concluded, "is virgin because of the sanctity that she receives in the sacraments and she is the mother of all peoples." Source: VIS
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