2008-01-06 14:12:06

Pope Celebrates Epiphany Calling for Courage and Hope

(06 Jan 08 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the feast of the Epiphany Sunday morning with solemn mass, during which he called for men and women to have the courage and faith to hope and work for a more just and united world. Emer McCarthy has more of today's events: RealAudioMP3

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the feast of the Epiphany Sunday calling for men and women to have the courage to work for a more just and united world.

“Today we celebrate the Solemn Feast of the Epiphany when our Lord made himself known to the Gentiles. Christ continues to manifest himself to men and women of all nations inviting them to share in the inheritance of grace”.

Thousands of multicoloured umbrellas spilled from St Peter’s Square, as families took refuge from relentless rain to hear the Pope’s Angelus Address:

He told them that the light of the star – followed by the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem – is a sign that “the light of Christ had begun to draw men to Him…. Of all tongues, peoples and cultures”.

The Church he continued “carries out the mission of that star for all humanity. But the same could be said of every Christian, Each authentic believer is called to help those who perhaps have difficulty in finding the path that leads to Christ.

Earlier in Solemn mass marking the feast day Pope Benedict delved deeper into the meaning of the Epiphany.
In a homily that traced the history of Gods divine plan of salvation for all mankind, stretching back over 4 thousand years to events recounted in the Book of Genesis, Pope Benedict told the congregation that this “divine plan”, was fully revealed and realised in Christ, but is still asking to be heard by history”.
“This – continued the Pope - is where the truth of man and of his entire history lies. But it is contrasted by divisive pressures and abuses, which lacerate humanity and are caused by the sin of conflict and selfishness”.
Pope Benedict explained: “….it cannot be said that globalisation is synonymous of world order, it is the opposite.  Conflicts for world order and the pillaging of (natural) resources, water and raw materials make the work of those who strive for a just and fair world, all the more difficult.  We need a greater hope that helps us choose common good over the luxury of a few and the misery of many”.
Quoting from his encyclical Spe salvi , Pope Benedict XVI  related theses divisions to a lack of hope and faith in Jesus Christ: “This great hope can only be God….not any God, but that God who has a human face”: If there is great hope, - he said - than we can soldier on in sobriety. If there is no hope, then we search for happiness in the fleeting, superfluous, in excesses and we ruin ourselves and the world.  Moderation therefore is not simply an ascetic rule, but also a path to salvation for humanity.  By now it has become increasingly evident that only by choosing a sober lifestyle, accompanied by a series commitment to an equal distribution of wealth, will a just and sustainable model of development be possible.”.
Pope Benedict XVI concluded his homily with an invitation to hope and courage: “there is a need for men who nurture great hope and thus posses even greater courage.   The courage of the Magi, who undertook a long journey, following a star, and who knew how to kneel before a child and offer him their precious gifts.  We all need this courage anchored to a solid hope.

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