Ecumenical Leader Looks to Christ for Real Hope

Sends Letter to World Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2008 ( By looking at Christ on the cross, one sees the world’s real suffering and despair; by looking at the risen Christ, one sees real hope, says the secretary-general of the World Council of Churches.

Reverend Samuel Kobia wrote this in a message he sent to the world Synod of Bishops, which is under way in the Vatican through Oct. 26. The theme of the assembly is on “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.”

The message was read Tuesday by Orthodox Romanian Bishop Nifon de Targoviste.

Kobia said the theme chosen for the synod “holds the promise of deep spiritual renewal for the mission of the church.”

“By centering the thoughts and minds on the living word of God, revealed to us in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, we open ourselves to the presence, of the Triune God and the energy of divine love through which this world was created, our sins were redeemed, and all life is sustained,” he said.

The Word of God, continued Kobia, “builds the church and transforms the lives of people so that they become credible and visible disciples of Christ.”

He continued: “How the word of God resonates in our lives, transforms us, and motivates deeds of love among us, is indeed central for the holistic mission of the church.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ said, according to the Gospel of St John: ‘By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’

“It is such discipleship so desperately needed in a world which is torn apart by conflict and war, divided between rich and poor, and haunted by communal hatred and violence.”

The leader of the World Council of Churches said that through “Jesus Christ on the Cross, we see the suffering of this world and its despair.”

“In the risen Christ,” he addded, “our hope is real. The deadly consequences of sin can be overcome.

“In this ‘hope we were saved’ and we are waiting eagerly that not only us, but all of humankind and creation ‘will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.'”

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