For Pope, with Jesus’ coming, man’s time, despite its evil content, is a time of Salvation
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – With Jesus’ birth and the descent into the world of the Eternal, human time, “although full of evil, suffering and all sorts of tragedies, from those caused by man’s wickedness to those due to fateful natural events, has come to encompass in a final and indelible manner the joyous and liberating novelty of Christ the Saviour,” said the Pope. As the present year ends, the Pope urges everyone to look towards the future with such hope in mind.
In his exhortation for the ‘Te Deum’ of the last day of the year, pronounced in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Benedict XVI raised “a hymn of thanks to the Lord for the myriad of graces he gave us, but also and especially for the one personified Grace, the Father’s living and personal Gift, that of his favourite Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Precisely, this gratefulness for the gifts received from God during the time given to us on this earth can help discover the great value set in time. Marked by annual, monthly, weekly and daily rhythms, it is inhabited by God’s love, his gifts of grace. It is a time of salvation” because “the eternal God has come and will stay in man’s time.”
“Therefore, the Eternal comes into time to renew its roots, freeing man from sin and making him son of God. Already in the ‘beginning’, that is at the time of the world’s creation, and man’s creation in the world, God’s eternity made it possible for time to bloom, for human history to run, generation after generation.”
“With Christ’s coming and with his redemption, we are in the ‘fullness’ of time. [. . .] Christmas reminds us of the ‘fullness’ of time, which is the salvation that renews that Jesus brought to all men. He reminds us of it, and yet mysteriously but so truly always delivers it to us anew.” And, “At the end of this year, 2010, before leaving its days and hours to God and his just and merciful judgment, I feel a very strong need in my heart to elevate our thanks to Him and his love for us.”
The Pope mentioned some of tasks of “his” diocese, that of Rome, in particular highlighting the conclusions reached by the conference to which he participated.
The latter “showed the centrality of the Holy mass in the life of each Christian community”. It also indicated, “how the act of celebration can exalt the beauty of the divine mysteries and the spiritual fruits that stem from it. I encourage parish priests and all priests to implement the pastoral programme, setting up a liturgical group to animate the celebration, and the catechesis to help everyone better understand the Eucharistic mystery, from which stems the witness of charity.
“Nurtured by Christ, we are equally attracted in the same act of total offering, which led the Lord to donate his life, thus showing the Father’s immense love. The witness of charity thus possesses an essential theological dimension and is profoundly united to the proclamation of the Word. As we celebrate giving thanks to God for the gifts received during the year, I remember in particular my visit to the Caritas hostel at Rome’s Termini railway station where, thanks to the service and generous dedication of numerous volunteers, so many men and women can touch by hand the love of God.”
“At present, the tough times in which so many families find themselves is cause for concern and calls upon the entire diocesan community to be close to those who live in conditions of poverty or deprivation. May God, who is boundless love, kindle the heart of each one us with the charity that led him to give us his One Son.”
“Look to the future,” Benedict XVI said in ending his homily. “Look upon it with hope, echoing the last word of the Te Deum, ‘In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum! O Lord, in thee have I trusted: let me never be confounded’.”