12/23/2007, 00.00
VATICAN
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There is nothing more beautiful, urgent and important than announcing the Gospel, says the Pope

On the eve of the night before the birth of Jesus, Benedict XVI restates that the Church cannot give up its right to tell the world about the great gift it has received. Understanding the significance of the Incarnation is the true meaning of Christmas.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “Nothing can release or free us” from the task of announcing the Gospel and “nothing is more beautiful, urgent and important” than this, said Benedict XVI before a crowd of some 30,000 people who gathered in Saint Peter’s Square a day before celebrating the night when God became man. In today’s Angelus he spoke of the true meaning of Christmas and again about the “duty” of Christians, especially the Church, to evangelise.

“Tomorrow night we shall celebrate the great mystery of Love that never ceases to amaze us, namely love that became man,” he said. Indeed at this time of the year the words “Come Lord” are often invoked. The “mission of the Church is to provide an answer to the words ‘Come Lord Jesus’” so that through his coming “our hearts may change and justice and peace infuse the world.”

“In a situation in which many faithful have no clear idea as to the reasons for evangelisation,” the recent document released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “reminds us all that welcoming the Good News is by itself a way to signal that we were given salvation as a gift,” said the Holy Father.

“The truth that can save life can brighten the heart of those who receive it with love for their fellow man thus enabling them to feel free to return what they freely received.” This gift “can enable us to live in the universal embrace of the children of God” and receive “free love for the good of everyone.”

“There is nothing more beautiful, urgent and important than to freely return what we have freely received from God. Nothing can release or free us from this weighty task.”

“Each Christian and each community should feel the joy of sharing with others the Good News, that God loves the world so much that he gave his only Son so that the world may be saved through him.” “This is the true meaning of Christmas that we must always rediscover and live intensely.”

When it was time to convey his greetings, before expressing his good wishes “to experience the upcoming festivities in the light and peace that come from Christ the Saviour,” Benedict XVI praised an initiative taken by the Osservatore Romano on behalf of the children of Uganda.

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