Pope Benedict XVI: “Life is a pilgrimage to be lived vigilantly and in charity”November 13, 2011 No Comments
November 13, 2011 | AsiaNews.it
Our earthly existence marked by “impermanence” should be lived “as a pilgrimage, keeping our eyes fixed on the ultimate goal, the God who created us, and who did so for Him self.” For this “God summons every man to life and bestows on him a talent, while entrusting him with a mission”, which is charity. This was Benedict XVI’s reflection on today’s liturgy (33rd Sunday in the year, A) before the Angelus.
Citing the Apostle Paul, the pope recalled that “‘the day the Lord will come like a thief in the night’ (1 Thess 5.2), in short, without any warning”. It also highlights how this coming is linked to “death, followed by the Final Judgement.” He adds: “The awareness of the glorious return of the Lord Jesus encourages us to live in an attitude of vigilance, waiting for his manifestation in the constant memory of his first coming.”
Referring then to the parable of the talents of today’s Gospel (Mt 25:14-30), he explains that “Jesus wants to teach his disciples to make good use of his gifts: God calls all men to life and bestows him with talents, while entrusting him with a mission to accomplish. It would be foolish to think that these gifts are due to us, just as our failing to use them would be a dereliction of the goal of our very existence”.
Quoting St. Gregory the Great, he emphasized “that the Lord gifts everyone his charity, his love. He writes: ‘It is therefore necessary, my brethren, that you put every effort into the safekeeping of charity, in every action that must undertake (Homilies on the Gospels 9.6) and after stating that true charity consists in loving both friends and enemies, he adds: “If one lacks this virtue, he loses all good that he possessed, he is deprived of the talent he received and is thrown out, in darkness” (ibid.). ”
“Charity – he concluded – is the fundamental good that no one can fail to make use of and without which all the other gifts are in vain (cf. 1 Cor 13.3). If Jesus loved us enough to give his life for us (cf. 1 Jn 3.16), how could we not love God with all of ourselves and love each other with a true heart? (Cf. 1 Jn 4:11) Only by practicing charity, can we also take part in the joy of our Lord. May the Virgin Mary teach us active and joyful vigilance on the path to union our with God. ”
After the Marian prayer, greeting the tens of thousands of faithful in the square, Benedict XVI addressed a special greeting in English to “a large group of Filipino pilgrims.” In his greetings in German, he recalled today’s beatification of the priest and martyr Carl Lampert in Dornbirn, who was killed “in the dark time of National Socialism.”
The pope recalled that in “an interrogation that could have restored him to freedom, he testified with conviction: ‘I love my church. I remain faithful to my church and also to the priesthood. I am on Christ’s side and I love his Church. ‘”
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