Pontiff Recalls That Christ Is Man's Only Savior

Comments on Canticle in Ephesians 1:3-10

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 23, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI reminded pilgrims at a general audience that Christ is mankind’s only Savior, as he commented on a Pauline canticle from Scripture.

«Yes, Lord, draw us to yourself; draw the world to yourself and grant us peace, your peace,» the Pope said as he concluded his traditional midweek address with a spontaneous exclamation.

The great number of people who continue to come to the weekly meeting with the Holy Father — more than 25,000 today — made it necessary, despite a chilly wind, to hold the audience in St. Peter’s Square. Neither Paul VI Hall nor St. Peter’s Basilica could accommodate the size of the crowd.

Benedict XVI used his address to comment on the canticle of the first chapter of the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, verses 3-10, which begins with the famous hymn: «Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.»

In this passage, the Pontiff explained, «the figure of Christ is central, in which the work of God the Father is revealed and fulfilled.»

Quoting the canticle, the Holy Father said that Christ is the axis that recapitulates in himself all «things in heaven and things on earth.»

To emphasize his message, the Pope quoted a second-century saint, Irenaeus, who recognized that «there is only one God and one Jesus Christ, … the Word of God became man» for his salvation.

With this meditation, the Pontiff continued the series of commentaries on the psalms and canticles that are found in the Liturgy of the Hours. Other commentaries are posted at www.zenit.org/english/audience.

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