Pope Presents Christ as "Image of Invisible God"

Invites Young People to Build Kingdom of Justice and Peace

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 24, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II said that Christ is the «image of the invisible God,» and he invited young Christians to participate in the building of Jesus’ Kingdom of justice and peace.

The Pope made those comments during today’s general audience, in which he reflected on the «hymn to Christ» found in St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians (1:3,12-20).

In that canticle Jesus appears as «heart of the liturgy and center of the whole of ecclesial life,» the Holy Father said.

The composition, which appears in the liturgy of vespers, the evening prayer of the Church, «celebrates Christ as ‘the firstborn of all creation,’ that is, begotten before every being, thus affirming his eternity which transcends space and time,» the Pope explained.

«He is the ‘image,’ the visible ‘icon’ of that God who remains invisible in his mystery,» he continued. «This was Moses’ experience who, in his ardent desire to see the personal reality of God, heard this reply: ‘You cannot see my face; for man shall not see me and live.'»

«Instead,» the Pope said, «the face of the Father Creator of the universe becomes accessible in Christ, author of created reality: ‘all things were created through him … in him all things hold together.'»

He is the «‘image of the invisible God,’ brought close to us through the creative act,» the Holy Father clarified.

«With his divine fullness, but also with his blood shed on the cross, Christ reconciles and pacifies all realities, heavenly and earthly,» he said.

«Thus he returns them to their original situation, recreating the primitive harmony, willed by God according to his plan of love and life. Creation and redemption are, therefore, linked between themselves as stages of the same history of salvation,» John Paul II said.

On this occasion, the general audience was held at two different moments. Before meeting with pilgrims in Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father greeted 3,500 young people in nearby St. Peter’s Basilica.

«May Jesus always be the center of your lives! May he be the light and guide of every decision you make; participate generously with your testimony in the building of his Kingdom of justice and peace,» he told the young people.

John Paul II’s other meditations on the Psalms and canticles of vespers are posted in the Wednesday’s Audience section of ZENIT’s Web page.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation