VATICAN CITY, NOV. 4, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is affirming that God is close to us and wants us to feel the presence of his love in our lives.
The Pope stated this today in a homily during Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica celebrated for the repose of the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during this year.
He recalled in particular Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, former archbishop of Tokyo; Cardinal Cahal Brendan Daly, former archbishop of Armagh, Ireland; Cardinal Armand Gaétan Razafindratandra, former archbishop of Antananarivo, Madagascar; Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík, specialist in Eastern theology and spirituality and founder of the Aletti Center; Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei;” and Cardinal Luigi Poggi, former archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives.
The Pontiff said, “We wish to remember these venerable brothers of ours as zealous pastors, whose ministry was always marked by the eschatological horizon that animates the hope of happiness without shadows, which has been promised to us after this life.”
He continued, “The expression ‘eternal life,’ in fact, points out the divine gift given to humanity: communion with God in this world and its fullness in the future.”
“Eternal life was opened to us by Christ’s Paschal Mystery and faith is the way to reach it,” the Holy Father affirmed.
He noted that God “gave us his Son out of love, to be the close God, to make us feel his presence, to come to meet us and carry us in his love, so that all of life is animated by this divine love.”
“The verbs ‘to love’ and ‘to give’ indicate a decisive and definitive act that expresses the radicalism with which God approached man in love, to the total gift, to the threshold of our ultimate solitude, throwing himself into the abyss of our extreme abandonment, passing through the door of death,” Benedict XVI stated.
He continued, “The object and beneficiary of divine love is the world, namely, humanity.”
“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life,” the Pope affirmed.
He noted: “God does not take possession but loves without measure.
“He does not manifest his omnipotence in punishment, but in mercy and in forgiveness.”
The Pontiff pointed out that “to understand all this means to enter into the mystery of salvation: Jesus came to save, not to condemn; with the sacrifice of the Cross he reveals the loving face of God.”
He added, “And precisely by faith in the superabundant love that has been given to us in Christ Jesus, we know that even the smallest force of love is greater than the greatest destructive force and can transform the world.”
The Holy Father affirmed that “by this same faith we can have the reliable hope in eternal life and in the resurrection of the flesh.”
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