VATICAN CITY, DEC. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is calling the faithful to "let ourselves be amazed" by the "Star that inundated the universe with joy."
The Pope made this invitation when he spoke of the Star of Bethlehem today during the general audience, which he dedicated to a reflection on Christmas.
"In the midst of the frenetic activity of our days, may this time give us some calm and joy and enable us to touch with our hand the goodness of our God, who became a Child to save us and to give new encouragement and light on our journey," the Holy Father said.
He proposed that "joyful hope" is the "characteristic of the days that precede Holy Christmas" and the "essential attitude of the Christian who desires to live fruitfully the renewed encounter with him who comes to dwell in our midst: Christ Jesus, the Son of God made man."
The Pontiff reflected on how "the Savior comes to reduce to impotence the work of evil and all that which can still keep us away from God, to restore to us the ancient splendor and primitive paternity. With his coming among us, he indicates to us and also assigns to us a task: precisely that we be like him and that we tend toward true life, to come to the vision of God in the face of Christ."
He said that the Lord's coming "can have no objective other than to teach us to see and love events, the world, and everything that surrounds us with the very eyes of God."
"The Word-become-a-child helps us to understand God's way of acting," the Pope affirmed, "so that we will be capable of allowing ourselves to be transformed increasingly by his goodness and his infinite mercy."
"In the night of the world, we must let ourselves be amazed and illumined by this act of God, which is totally unexpected: God becomes a Child. We must let ourselves be amazed, illumined by the Star that inundated the universe with joy," Benedict XVI said. "May the Child Jesus, in coming to us, not find us unprepared, busy only in making the exterior reality more beautiful and attractive. May the care we give to making our streets and homes more resplendent impel us even more to predispose our soul to encounter him who will come to visit us.
"Let us purify our conscience and our life of what is contrary to this coming: thoughts, words, attitudes and deeds -- impelling us to do good and to contribute to bring about in our world peace and justice for every man and thus walk toward our encounter with the Lord."
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