Pope Benedict XVI Calls on Faithful to Look at the Example of St. John the Baptist

Addresses Thousands During Sunday Angelus

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 10, 2012 (Zenit.org).- During his weekly Sunday Angelus address, Pope Benedict XVI commented on the figure of St. John the Baptist in announcing the coming of Christ. The Holy Father delivered his address at the window of the Vatican Apostolic Palace to thousands of faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Recalled the gospel of the second Sunday of Advent, Pope Benedict said that John the Baptist was not only the last of the prophets by also represented the priesthood of the Old Covenant and «prepares mankind  for the spiritual worship of the New Covenant inaugurated by Jesus.»

«John the Baptist is defined as the ‘voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths’. The voice proclaims the word, but in this case the Word of God precedes as it comes to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness,» the Holy Father said.

The Holy Father reiterated that while John plays an important role, it is always in relation to Christ. «‘John is the voice that passes away, Christ is the eternal Word,'» the Pope said quoting St. Augustine.

Our task today is to listen to that voice, to give space to Jesus and to welcome Him, the Word that saves us, into our hearts. In this time of Advent, let us prepare to see, through the eyes of faith, God’s salvation in the humble stable in Bethlehem.

Concluding the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI invited the faithful and the pilgrims gathered to follow the example of St. John the Baptist, who invites us to live in «an essential way.»

«In our consumerist society, where we seek joy in material things, the Baptist teaches us to live in an essential way, so that Christmas is not only experienced externally as a superficial holiday, but rather as the feast of the Son of God who came to bring peace, life and true joy to mankind,» the Holy Father said.

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