Christians Must Model Life on Image of Jesus, Says Pope

Comments on Canticle in Letter to the Colossians

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 7, 2005 ( Benedict XVI invited all Christians to model their life on the image of Christ, during a commentary on a canticle in the Letter to the Colossians.

“We must constantly model our image on that of the Son of God,” as he has “delivered [us] from the dominion of darkness and transferred [us] to the kingdom of his beloved Son,” the Pope said during an address today at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

The Holy Father was continuing the series of commentaries, begun by Pope John Paul II, on the psalms and canticles of the Bible.

Benedict XVI arrived from the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo in a helicopter. Although he appeared to be in good form, his voice was hoarse.

In the canticle the Pope commented on, St. Paul presents Jesus as the “firstborn of all creation,” as “all things were created through him.”

Thus the Apostle takes up what an ancient Jewish tradition affirmed: “The whole world was created in view of the Messiah,” Benedict XVI told the crowd of about 20,000 gathered for the audience.

The firstborn

“Christ is the principle of cohesion, the mediator, and the final destiny toward which the whole of creation converges,” the Pope said.

“He is ‘the firstborn among many brethren,’ namely, the Son par excellence in the great family of the children of God, in which Baptism inserts us,” he continued.

The Holy Father drew a conclusion from these affirmations: “The consistency and growth of humanity have their root in Christ, the vital pivot, the principle.”

Christ “is the fullness of the divinity which shines whether in the universe or in humanity, becoming source of peace, unity and perfect harmony,” he assured.

“This reconciliation and pacification is effected through ‘the blood of the cross,’ by which we are justified and sanctified,” Benedict XVI said. “By shedding his blood and giving himself, Christ has diffused peace that, in biblical language, is synthesis of messianic goods and salvific fullness extended to the whole of created reality.”

The Pope added: “Before this Lord of glory, sign of the supreme love of the Father, we also raise our song of praise and prostrate ourselves to adore and thank him.”

Other meditations on the psalms and biblical canticles are posted at

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