01/04/2012, 00.00
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Pope: Christmas time spurs each of us to witness "the light that comes"

In the first general audience of the New Year, Benedict XVI illustrates the meaning of the days from Christmas Eve to Epiphany, the "hiddenness of God" in human nature to its manifestation. Time of joy, "our wonder to see how God is close to us, how he acts in history" and of light, "but above all it is our accepting the Child so that his feelings, his thoughts, his actions become our feelings, our thoughts, our actions. "
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Christmas season - which runs from December 24 to January 6, is marked by our " our amazement to see how God is close to us, how he acts in history " and joy, "because the Lord was born." Celebrating Christmas means "stopping to contemplate that Child, the mystery of God who becomes man in poverty, but above all it is our accepting the Child so that his feelings, his thoughts, his actions become our feelings, our thoughts, our actions. "

The first general audience of Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 was dedicated to the Christmas season. It is '"a short period of time, but full of mysteries and celebrations gathered around Christmas and Epiphany."

To the eight thousand people present in the Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican, Benedict XVI addressed his best wishes for the New Year and highlighted how Christmas recalls a "historical fact", a time when "the hiddenness of God is manifested in the human condition "while the Epiphany" is His manifestation, the appearance of God in humanity itself. " An "manifestation" - which is the meaning of the Greek word epiphany - that is expressed in a variety of events, in particular the "Adoration of the Magi, who recognize Jesus as the messiah," the baptism in the River Jordan "with the voice of God "which shows the sonship of Jesus and the Wedding at Cana, with the first miracle.

"What is the first reaction to this extraordinary event of God becoming man? The first reaction can only be joy, rejoice because the Lord was born. " "This is the climate that opens the Gospel." "Joy and wonder of seeing how God is at hand, how He acts in history", "contemplating the face of that Child, because we know that is the face of God. We are finally sure that God is good, who lowers Himself to us so that he can raise us up to Himself. "

"The texts of the liturgy of this time are filled with wonder and joy," "Christmas is the point where heaven and earth are united": "the far, that seems so very distant, became close, the unreachable became reachable" .

Theology and spirituality speak of the "wonderful exchange between divinity and humanity." "The first act of exchange is this humanity of Christ. The Word took on our humanity. " The second act is "in our real and intimate participation in the divine nature of the Word."

"God comes so close to share in our own birth." "Thus the dream of humanity is realized, realized in an unexpected way, not in the greatness of man that can not become God, but in the love of God who became man."

Another aspect that characterizes Christmas is light. "When the angel appears to shepherds, Luke says that the glory of the Lord shone around them". Jesus "the Word made flesh, is the true light that comes into the world: the liturgy of Christmas is filled with light." In the solemnity of the Epiphany, the Church presents a passage from Isaiah, "Arise, cloth yourself in light because your light has come".

"The invitation 'arise, shine', renewed during the feast of the Epiphany is a call to the Church, the community of Christ, but also to each one of us, an invitation to have an even more vivid sense of mission and responsibility towards the world to witness and bring the new light of the Gospel.''

''The Church - the Pope said after quoting the Constitution Lumen Gentium of Vatican II – is not the light, but receives the light of Christ, it welcomes it to be enlightened, and spread it in all its splendor and this must also be for our personal life. " Celebrating Christmas, in short "is to manifest the joy, the novelty, the light that this birth has brought into our lives and ourselves to be the bearers of this joy."

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