Pope Recalls God's Plan of Love and Life

Reflects on Solemnity of Immaculate Conception

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 8, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Even though evil is something mankind experiences on a daily basis, and it can seem as if death has prevailed, there is hope, says Benedict XVI. God has a plan.

The Pope said this today, solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, before praying the midday Angelus with several thousand pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.
The Holy Father noted that in the Gospel scene of the Annunciation, when God sends the angel Gabriel to announce to Mary the birth of Christ, he addressed her with the name «full of grace.» This name, the Pontiff said, «reveals Mary’s most profound identity,» and «explains to us the mystery that we celebrate today.»

«In fact, from the moment she was conceived by her parents, Mary was the object of a singular predilection on the part of God, who in his eternal plan chose her to be the mother of his Son made man and, hence, preserved her from original sin,» he explained. «For this reason, the angel addresses her with this name, which implicitly signifies: ‘ever full of the love of God,’ of his grace.»
Benedict XVI called the mystery of the Immaculate Conception a «source of interior light, of hope and of consolation»: «In the midst of life’s trials, and especially of the contradictions man experiences in his interior and around him, Mary, Mother of Christ, tells us that Grace is greater than sin, that God’s mercy is more powerful than evil, and it is able to transform it into goodness.»

The Pope lamented that evil is something that is experienced everyday, and which has its root «in man’s heart, a wounded, sick heart, incapable of curing itself.»

According to Scripture, he continued, «the origin of all evil is disobedience to the will of God,» and «death has prevailed because human liberty has yielded to the temptation of the Evil One.»

«However,» the Pontiff said, «God does not fail in his plan of love and life: Through a long and patient path of reconciliation, he has prepared the new and eternal Covenant, sealed with the blood of his Son, who to offer himself in expiation was born of woman.

«This woman, the Virgin Mary, benefited in advance from the redeeming death of her Son and from conception was preserved from the contagion of guilt. Because of this, with her Immaculate Heart, she says to us: Trust Jesus, he saves you.»
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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-31189?l=english

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