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» 09/23/2012
VATICAN
Pope: God is not afraid to lower Himself and be last of all. Prayer for Christians in the Middle East
At the Angelus, Benedict XVI asks us to pray for peace and dialogue between religions, after the "success" of his trip to Lebanon. Man is proud and wants to be first, "there is no pride in God, because He is totally complete and gives love and life."

Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - "God is not afraid to lower Himself and become the last of all", unlike us men, "who although small, aspire to look great, to be the first." In his reflection before the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace, Benedict XVI highlighted the profound difference between God and man. At the end of the Marian prayer, the Pope recalled his visit to Lebanon and asked everyone to continue to pray for peace in the Middle East.

"A key point in which God and man are different - said the Pope - is pride:  there is no pride in God, because He is totally complete and gives love and life to us men, in whom, however, pride is deeply rooted and requires constant vigilance and purification. "

"The logic of God - he said - is always "other" to our own, as revealed by God through the prophet Isaiah:" My thoughts are not your thoughts, / your ways are not my ways "(Isaiah 55.8). For this, following the Lord always requires a profound conversion in man, a change in thinking and living, it requires us to open our hearts to be enlightened and to be inwardly transformed. "

The Pope's reflections were inspired by the Gospel of today's liturgy (Mark 9: 30-37), in which the Jesus' announces his impending death and resurrection", but the disciples "did not understand these words and they were afraid to question him "(v. 32)."

"Reading this part of Mark's account  - said Benedict XVI - it is clear that between Jesus and the disciples there is a deep inner distance, they are, so to speak, on two different wavelengths, so that the discourses of the Master are not understood, or only superficially. The Apostle Peter, immediately after declaring his faith in Jesus, scolds him because he predicted that he would be rejected and killed. After the second announcement of the Passion, the disciples discuss who among them is the greatest (cf. Mk 9:34), and after the third, James and John ask Jesus to be able to sit on his right and his left, when it is in glory (cf. Mk 10.35 -40). But there are several other signs of this distance, for example, the disciples fail to heal an epileptic boy, then Jesus heals him with the power of prayer (cf. Mk 9.14 to 29), or when the children come to Jesus, the disciples rebuke them, and Jesus, indignant, welcomes them, and says that only those who are like them can enter the Kingdom of God (cf. Mk 10:13-16). "

In contrast to all of us, the Pope concluded, "The Virgin Mary is perfectly" in tune "with God: Let us invoke her with confidence, so that she teaches us to follow Jesus faithfully on the path of love and humility."

After the Angelus, the Pope greeted those present in various languages. Welcoming the French-speaking pilgrims, he thanked them "with all my heart for your prayers that accompanied the beautiful success of my apostolic visit to Lebanon and by extension the whole of the Middle East. Continue to pray for Christians in the Middle East, for peace and for peaceful dialogue between religions. "

 


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See also
07/18/2006 PHILIPPINES - VATICAN
Nuncio urges Filipinos to pray "for Mid-East peace and unity"
09/09/2012 VATICAN
Pope: Middle East peace needs commitment of parties involved and the world
08/06/2006 VATICAN
Pope: Peace for the peoples of the Middle East overwhelmed by fratricidal conflict!
10/24/2010 VATICAN
Pope, peace is possible in the Middle East, urgent, indispensable condition for a dignified life
03/27/2011 VATICAN
Pope appeals for end to use of arms and space for dialogue in Libya and the Middle East

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by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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