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Monday, December 13, 2010

IT IS GOD, NOT GRAND PROMISES, WHO CHANGES THE WORLD

VATICAN CITY, 12 DEC 2010 (VIS) - This morning the Pope made a pastoral visit to the parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe on the outskirts of Rome, where he celebrated Mass. As of the year 2009, the parish community has a new church, dedicated to that Polish Franciscan saint and martyr.

  In his homily, the Pope highlighted how "Advent is a pressing invitation to us all to allow God to enter ever more deeply into our lives, our homes, our neighbourhoods, our communities, that we may have light amidst so much darkness and so much daily fatigue".

  Noting how "with the passage of time the parish community has grown and become partly transformed, with the arrival of many people from the countries of Eastern Europe and other States", the Pope underlined the importance "of creating opportunities for dialogue and favouring mutual understanding between people from different cultures, backgrounds and social conditions".

  "Here, as in all parishes", he said, "it is necessary to begin with those 'close by' then reach those 'far away', in order to bring an evangelical presence into the places in which we live and work. In parishes, everyone should be able to enjoy an adequate formation and to experience the community dimension which is a fundamental characteristic of Christian life", a community "that involves everyone, united in listening to the Word of God and in celebrating the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist".

  Commenting then on today's Gospel reading in which John the Baptist asks whether Jesus is the Judge Who will change the world, or whether we must wait for another, Benedict XVI affirmed that "many prophets, ideologues and dictators have come and said: 'No, not him! He has not changed the world! We have!' And they created their empires, their dictatorships, their totalitarian regimes which were meant to change the world. And they did change it, but destructively. Today we know that all that is left of these grand promises is great emptiness and great destruction".

  "The Lord, in the silent way characteristic of Him, replies: 'See what I have done. I have not brought a bloody revolution, I have not changed the world by force; but I have lit many lights which together form a great path of light over the millennia".

  The Pope then turned his attention to St. Maximilian Kolbe "who volunteered to die of hunger in order to save the life of a married man", to St. Damian de Veuster "who lived and died with and for lepers", and to Mother Teresa of Calcutta "who brought light to so many people who, after a life spent without light, died with a smile because they were touched by the light of God's love.

  "And so we could go on", he added, "and we would see, as the Lord said in His reply to John, that it is not violent revolution or great promises that change the world, but the silent light of truth, of God's goodness, which is the sign of His presence and gives us the certainty that we are fully loved, that we are not forgotten, that we are not the result of chance but of a will to love".

  The Pope concluded his homily by highlighting how "God is close, ... but we are often far away. Let us, then draw close, let us come into the presence of His light, let us pray to the Lord and, in the contact of prayer, let us become a light for others".
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1 comment:

  1. Avril p. Joseph L'HeureuxDecember 18, 2010 at 5:30 AM

    [In response to someone who begged him (Saint Pius X) to "go soft" on the Modernists, He retorted]: "Kindness is for fools! They want them to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses but they ought to be beaten with fists! In a duel you don't count or measure the blows, you strike as you can! War is not made with charity, it is a struggle a duel. If Our Lord were not terrible he would not have given an example in this too. See how he treated the Philistines, the sowers of error, the wolves in sheep's clothing, the traitors in the temple. He scourged them with whips!"
    “He who can never love Christ enough, will never give up fighting against those who hate Him.” -St. John Chrysostom

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