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Monday, January 28, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2008 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square, to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below.

  Before the Marian prayer, the Pope commented today's Gospel reading, explaining how "it presents the beginning of Christ's public mission", a mission that "essentially consisted in preaching the Kingdom of God and in healing the sick", and that served "to show that the Kingdom is near and, in fact, is already among us".

  The Holy Father then went on to point out that Jesus began to preach in Galilee, an outlying area of the Jewish nation where the prophet Isaiah had announced that "the people immersed in darkness would see a great light".

  "In Jesus' day the term 'gospel' was used by Roman emperors for their proclamations, Whatever the contents, these were defined as 'good news', in other words as announcements of salvation, because the emperor was considered to be lord of the world and all his edicts as harbingers of good. Thus, applying this word to Jesus' preaching had a strong critical significance as if to say: God, not the emperor, is the Lord of the world and the true Gospel is that of Christ.

  "The 'good news' that Jesus proclaimed may be summed up in these words: 'The Kingdom of God - or Kingdom of Heaven - is near'. ... This does not of course refer to an earthly kingdom demarcated in time and space but announces that it is God Who reigns, that it is God Who is Lord, and that His lordship is present, current, it is taking place.

  "The novelty of Christ's message", the Pope added, "is that it is in Him that God has drawn near, that He reigns among us, as the miracles and healing He accomplished show".

  "Wherever Jesus comes, the creative Spirit brings life and mankind is healed from sickness of body and spirit. God's lordship, then, is shown in the integral healing of man. With this, Jesus wished to reveal the face of the true God, the near God, full of mercy for every human being".
ANG/KINGDOM OF GOD/...                    VIS 20080128 (370)

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