DIVINE REVELATION DOES NOT FOLLOW EARTHLY LOGIC
Benedict XVI dedicated the catechesis of today’s Wednesday audience, celebrated in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, to the Messianic Hymn of Jubilee, Jesus’ prayer of praise recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, which constitutes the “apex of a path of prayer in which Jesus’ profound and intimate communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit and His divine filiation clearly emerges .”
Already at the opening of the hymn, the Pope observed, Jesus addresses God by calling him Father, a term that expresses “Jesus’ awareness and certainty of being ‘the Son’ in close and constant communion with Him. This is the central point and the source of Jesus’ every prayer. . . .The name of ‘Father’ is followed by a second title: ‘Lord of heaven and earth,’” which “recalls the great biblical narration of the history of God’s love for human beings that began with creation. Jesus . . . is the pinnacle and the fullness of this history of love. . . . Through the expression ‘Lord of heaven and earth’ we also recognize how, in Jesus, the one who reveals the Father, the possibility of access to God is opened to humanity.”
But, to whom does the Son want to reveal the mysteries of God? “Divine revelation,” the pontiff explained, “does not occur within earthly logic, according to which humans are the wise and powerful who posses important knowledge and transmit it to those who are more simple. . . . God’s style is another: His communication is addressed precisely to the ‘childlike.’ . . . And what is this childlikeness that opens humans to a filial intimacy with God and to welcoming His will? . . . It is the pureness of heart that allows us to recognize the face of God in Jesus Christ. It is keeping our hearts as simple as those of children, without the presumptions of those who are locked in themselves, thinking they have no need of anyone, not even God.”
“In Matthew’s Gospel, after the Hymn of Jubilee, we encounter one of Jesus’ most moving pleas: ‘Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.’ Jesus asks that we go to Him, the true wisdom, to the one who is ‘meek and humble of heart;’ He proposes His ‘yoke’, the path of evangelical wisdom, which is neither a doctrine to learn nor an ethical proposal, but rather a Person to follow: He himself, the only-begotten Son, in perfect communion with the Father.”
“We also can address God with the confidence of sons and daughters,” Benedict XVI concluded, “calling Him Father when we pray. But we have to keep the heart of a child, the heart of those ‘poor in spirit’, in order to recognize that we are not self-sufficient . . . that we need God, that we have to seek Him, listen to Him, speak to Him. Prayer opens us to receiving the gift of God, His wisdom who is Jesus himself, in order to accept the will of the Father in our lives and to find consolation in the weariness of our journey.”
At the end of the audience, Benedict XVI greeted the pilgrims present in the hall in their various languages and noted that the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which is celebrated tomorrow, “reminds us of Mary’s singular acceptance of God’s salvific plan. Preserved from any stain of sin in order to be the holy dwelling place of the Incarnate Word, she always trusted fully in the Lord.” The Pope especially urged the youth to make the effort to imitate the Virgin “with pure and clean hearts, letting yourselves be shaped by God who, in you as well, desires to bring about ‘great things.’”
POPE IN FRENCH ON YOUTUBE
Beginning today it is possible to follow the Pope and the happenings of the Holy See through videos in French accessible at: http://www.youtube.co/vaticanfr.
Vatican Radio and Vatican Television are thus extending their offerings on YouTube, which previously were only available in Italian, English, Spanish, and German. Joining the Vatican radio and television centers is the French Catholic television channel KTO, which manages the French version of the short daily video reports of the main public acts of Pope Benedict XVI.
The communique made public today reads that, with this initiative, the Catholic Church “again shows its commitment to the use of new technologies that allow the faithful to draw ever nearer to the Pope’s voice and teachings.”
ARCHBISHOP MAMBERTI PROPOSES WORLD DAY AGAINST PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Holy See’s secretary for Relations with States, addressed the Eighteenth Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held this 6-7 December in Vilnius, Lithuania.
In his address, the archbishop discussed, among other themes, the topic of migration, which for the Holy See constitutes an argument of constant interest, above all in the actual circumstances of economic and financial crisis. Msgr. Mamberti noted that there is a growing consensus in the international community on the necessity of paying greater attention to migrants. In this context he emphasized that it is necessary to support migrants reunification with their families since “the family plays a fundamental role in the integration process, in giving stability to the presence of the immigrants in the new social environment . . . Migrants, aware of their rights, can be more secure in offering their services and talents and the receiving community, well-informed and respectful of these rights, will feel freer in extending its solidarity in order to build together a common future.”
The Secretary for Relations with States also addressed the Organization’s commitments in defence of fundamental freedoms and human rights, one of which is the right to freedom of religion. “The right to religious freedom, despite being repeatedly proclaimed by the international community, as well as in the constitutions of most States, continues to be widely violated today.” Pope Benedict XVI himself recalled, in his message from this year’s World Day of Peace, that Christians “are the religious group which suffers most from persecution on account of its faith.” According to Archbishop Mamberti, “there may be more than two hundred million Christians, of different confessions, who are in difficulty because of legal and cultural structures that lead to their discrimination” For this reason, he proposed the institution of an International Day against persecution and discrimination of Christians as “an important sign that go.vernments are willing to deal with this serious issue.”
Against Trafficking in Human Beings
The archbishop also addressed the problem of trafficking in human beings, especially of women and minors, for sexual exploitation as well as for labor exploitation and domestic servitude, which has become a “powerful global business involving many countries of origin, transit, and destination. To counteract the scourge of trafficking in human beings with greater determination and more concrete results, a convergence of efforts is necessary: a mentality that is centered on the unique dignity of every person, a sure punishment of traffickers, the fight against corruption, . . . and the fairness of mass media in reporting the damages created by trafficking.”
The Holy Father received in separate audiences today:
• Dr. Carl Albert Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, and
• Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Today the Holy Father appointed:
• Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, formerly archbishop of Monterrey, Mexico, as archbishop of Guadalajara (area 20,827, population 7,158,000, Catholics 6,452,000, priests 1,432, permanent deacons 5, religious 4286), Mexico. He succeeds Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
• Fr. Michael Robert Kennedy as bishop of Armidale (area 120,000, population 176,621, Catholics 42,748, priests 34, permanent deacons 1, religious 45), Australia. The bishop-elect was born in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1999.
As consultors for the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization:
• Msgr. Georg Austen, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Paderborn, Secretary General of the “Bonifatiuswerk der deutschen Katholiken”, and member of the Central Committee of German Catholics;
• Fr. Denis Biju-Duval, ordinary professor of theology at the “Redemptor Hominis” Pastoral Institute of the Pontifical Lateran University and member of the Emmanuel Community;
• Fr. Achim Buckenmaier, professor of dogmatic theology in the “Akademie fur die theologie des Volkes Gottes” Institute of the Pontifical Lateran University;
• Fr. José Luis Del Palacio y Perez Medel, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Madrid, founder and member of the directive council of the “Redemptoris Mater” Faculty of Theology of Callao, and professor of theology and canon law;
• Fr. Marian Krolikowski, of the clergy of the Diocese of Kielce, founder of the St. Paul School of New Evangelization, founder and prior of the Koinonia St. Paul community of consecrated life in Kielce;
• Msgr. Sergio Lanza, of the clergy of the Diocese of Como, ecclesiastic assistant general of the Sacred Heart Catholic University of Milan, ordinary professor of pastoral theology in that same university’s theology faculty as well as at the “Redemptor Hominis” Pastoral Institute of the Pontifical Lateran University;
• Fr. Xavier Morlans i Molina of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Barcelona, professor of fundamental theology at the “Facultat de teologia de Catalunya” in Barcelona;
• Msgr. Antonio Pitta, of the clergy of the Diocese of Lucera-Troia, ordinary professor of New Testament exegesis in the faculty of theology at the Pontifical Lateran University;
• Msgr. Henryk Seweryniak, of the clergy of the Diocese of Plock, professor of fundamental theology at the “Universytet Kardynala Stefana Wyszynskiego” of Warsaw;
• Dr. Moyses Louro De Azevedo Filho, founder and general moderator of the Shalom Catholic Community, International Association of the Faithful;
• Dr. Curtis A. Martin, founder and president of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), professor at the Augustine Institute in Denver;
• Dr. Ralph Martin, director of the Graduate Theological Programs in Evangelization of the Sacred Heart School of Theology in Detroit;
• Professor Thomas Soding, professor of the New Testament in the “Katholisch-Theologische Fakultat” of the Ruhr Universitat of Bochum and member of the International Theological Commission;
• Dr. Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement (Opera di Maria); and
• Dr. Petroc Willey, dean of graduate research at the Maryvale Institute of Birmingham.