TURIN, Italy, MAY 2, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In the Old Testament, God already gave the commandment to love, so what makes Christ’s “new commandment” something new?
Benedict XVI answered this question today in Turin where he celebrated Mass this morning during a one-day trip to the city.
“What is new is precisely this ‘loving as Jesus loved,'” he explained. “The Old Testament did not give any model of love but only formulated the precept to love. Jesus, however, gave himself to us as model and source of love. This is a love without limits, universal, able to transform all the negative circumstances and all the obstacles into occasions for progress in love. […]
“Giving us the new commandment, Jesus asks us to live his own love, which is the truly credible, eloquent and efficacious sign that announces to the world the Kingdom of God.”
The Pope acknowledged that with mere human strength, we are “weak and limited.”
“There is always a resistance to love in us and in our existence, there are many difficulties that provoke divisions, resentment and rancor,” he said. “But the Lord promised us to be present in our life, making us capable of this generous and total love, which knows how to overcome all obstacles.”
It is if we are united to Christ that we can truly love in this world, the Holy Father affirmed.
“Loving others as Jesus loved us is possible only with that strength that is communicated to us in our relationship with him, especially in the Eucharist, in which his Sacrifice of love that generated love is made present in a real way,” he said.
In his homily, the Pontiff reflected on the readings from today’s liturgy. He drew attention to the conclusion from the passage of Revelation read as the second reading. “He who sits upon the throne says: ‘Behold, I make all things new.’”
“The first absolutely new thing realized by God was Jesus’ resurrection, his heavenly glorification,” the Pope said. “It is the beginning of a whole series of ‘new things’ in which we also have a share. ‘New things’ are a world full of joy, in which there are no more suffering and destruction, there is no rancor and hate, but only the love that comes from God and transforms everything.”
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On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full text: www.zenit.org/article-29113?l=english