01/01/2012, 00.00
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Pope: Like Mary, the Church reveals Jesus, peace of the world

On the 45th World Day of Peace - the theme of "Educating young people in justice and peace" - Pope Benedict XVI speaks of a "critical educational challenge." Education is not only "instruction" the relativistic culture devalues the meaning of education. The task of the family, school and religious communities. The Angelus with tens of thousands of faithful from all over the world.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In order to "educate young people in justice and peace", and answer the urgent "educational challenge" of our time, the Church is "like the Virgin Mary, by revealing Jesus to all, for as Saint Paul says, "He is our peace" (Eph 2:14), and at the same time the "way" by which individuals and peoples can reach this goal to which we all aspire. "

This was Benedict XVI’s message during the first Mass of 2012, the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, and the 45th World Day of Peace on the theme "Educating young people in justice and peace." The celebration was attended by Card. Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, Card. Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, along with the ambassadors that "share ... with the Holy See the desire for renewed commitment to the promotion of peace in the world."

The Pope noted that for the Church and "everyone with a sensitive and responsible conscience regarding humanity’s future" the world is currently witnessing a " a decisive challenge that consists precisely in education. There are two reasons: In the first place, because in the present age, so strongly marked by a technological mentality, the desire to educate and not merely to instruct cannot be taken for granted, it is a choice; in the second place, because the culture of relativism raises a radical question: does it still make sense to educate? And then, to educate for what?”

For the pope, "in the face of the shadows that obscure the horizon of today’s world, to assume responsibility for educating young people in knowledge of the truth, in fundamental values and virtues, is to look to the future with hope. And in this commitment to a holistic education, formation in justice and peace has a place. "

"Boys and girls today - said Benedict XVI - are growing up in a world that has, so to speak, become smaller, where contacts between different cultures and traditions, even if not always direct, are constant. For them, now more than ever, it is indispensable to learn the importance and the art of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, dialogue and understanding. Young people by their nature are open to these attitudes, but the social reality in which they grow up can lead them to think and act in the opposite way, even to be intolerant and violent. Only a solid education of their consciences can protect them from these risks and make them capable of carrying on the fight, depending always and solely on the power of truth and good. "

For the pope, "this education begins in the family and is developed at school and in other formative experiences ", it also offers an essential contribution to the religious communities.

"In these days, - concluded the Pope - the Church is celebrating the great mystery of the Incarnation: God’s truth has sprung from the earth and justice looks down from heaven, the earth has yielded its fruit (cf. Ps 84:12,13). God has spoken to us in his Son Jesus. Let us hear what God has to say: "a voice that speaks of peace" (Ps 84:9). Jesus is a way that can be travelled, open to everyone. He is the path of peace. Today the Virgin Mary points him out to us, she shows us the Way: let us walk in it! And you, Holy Mother of God, accompany us with your protection. Amen"

After the Mass, at midday, the pope went to the window of his study to pray the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square. Today there were numerous pilgrims from various countries who had participated in the peace march organized by the Community of St. Egidio and the prayer vigil held by the Family Movement .

Before the Marian prayer, the pope returned to the issues of today's solemnity. "We begin the new year 2012 - he said - fixing our gaze on the Face of God who reveals himself in the Child of Bethlehem, and his Mother Mary, who accepted the divine plan with humble abandonment. By her generous 'yes' the true light that enlightens every man appeared in the world (cf. Jn 1.9) and the path to peace was opened up to us once again".

He then continued his reflection on the theme of the 45th World Day of Peace, "Educating young people in justice and peace." Citing excerpts from his message, Benedict XVI said: "At the present time, young people are experiencing apprehension about many things: they want to receive an education which prepares them more fully to deal with the real world, they see how difficult it is to form a family and to find stable employment; they wonder if they can really contribute to political, cultural and economic life in order to build a society with a more human and fraternal face'(No 1). I invite you all to have patience and perseverance to seek justice and peace, to cultivate a taste for what is right and true (5). Peace is never a fully achieved a good, but a goal to which we all must aspire and for which we must all work. "

He concluded: "Let us pray that, despite the difficulties that sometimes make the path a difficult one, this profound aspiration be translated into concrete gestures of reconciliation, justice and peace. We also pray for the leaders of nations to renew their commitment and willingness to accept and encourage this irrepressible yearning of humanity. We entrust these wishes to the intercession of the Mother of the 'King of Peace', that the year that is beginning be a time of hope and peaceful coexistence for the whole world. "


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