Pope Benedict XVI (L) gives a blessing while wearing an Italian civil protection department jacket, as Italian cabinet undersecretary Gianni Letta (2nd R) and Guido Bertolaso (R), head of the civil protection agency, applaud, during a special audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican March 6, 2010. (Daylife-Reuters)
All pictures courtesy of Daylife
Vatican City, Mar 7, 2010 / 12:48 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following his visit to the Roman parish of St. John of the Cross on Sunday, the Holy Father returned to the Apostolic Palace for the Angelus. In his remarks, the Pope underscored the need to look at life through the perspective of conversion.
As God appears to Moses in the form of the burning bush, said Benedict XVI reflecting on Sunday's Liturgy, he also reveals himself in different ways in the lives of each of us. "To be be able to recognize his presence, however, it's necessary that we bring ourselves to his side with knowledge of our misery and with profound respect."
Otherwise, the Pope said, "we render ourselves incapable of finding him and entering into communion with him."
In this light, he repeated St. Paul's observation that God does not reveal himself to those who are "pervaded by arrogance and thoughtlessness, but to those who are poor and humble before him."
The Holy Father then turned to the Gospel from Luke which took place following the deaths of some Galileans who were killed by Pontius Pilate, and others who died when the tower of Siloam collapsed.
Pope Benedict said that "Jesus proclaims the innocence of God, who is good and cannot want evil" as the people in the reading attribute the deaths in the community to divine punishment.
"Do you think that they also were greater transgressors than all the men living in Jerusalem?" asked Jesus in the Gospel. "No, I tell you. But if you do not repent, you will all perish similarly.”
In these words, taught the Pope, Jesus invites the perspective of conversion: "misfortunes (and) mournful events should not arouse curiosity or investigation for possible culprits in us, but they should represent occasions to reflect, to win over the illusion of being able to live without God, and to reinforce, with the help of the Lord, the commitment to changing (our) lives."
God, in his fullness of mercy, said Pope Benedict, never stops calling us to come back, to grow in his love, to "concretely" help our neighbors and to live in the joy of grace.
The possibility of conversion, “demands that we learn to read the facts of life in the perspective of the faith, encouraged also by the holy fear of God."
In the midst of sufferings and mourning, "true wisdom," concluded the Pope, is being able to realize "the precariousness of existence and reading the human story with the eyes of God, who, wishing always and only the good of his children, for an inscrutable design of his love, sometimes permits us to be tested by pain to guide them to a greater good.
The Holy Father prayed for the aid of Most Holy Mary to bring all Christians back to the Lord and to support us in "our decision to renounce evil and accept with faith the will of God in our lives."
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 7, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says that God is good and cannot will evil, though in his plan of love, he sometimes allows his children to be tried through suffering to lead them to a greater good.
The Pope reflected today on the mystery of suffering when he addressed those gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the midday Angelus.
The Holy Father spoke of the passage from today's Gospel, which recounts Pontius Pilate's order to have some Galileans killed in the Temple, and the collapse of a tower on some passers-by.
Since people had concluded that these deaths were the "effect of divine punishment, Jesus restores the true image of God, who is good and cannot will evil," the Pontiff explained.
He continued: "Jesus invites us to interpret these facts differently, connecting them with conversion: misfortunes, sorrowful events, should not arouse curiosity in us or a seeking of people presumed to be guilty, but they must be occasions for reflecting, for overcoming the illusion of pretending to live without God, and for reinforcing, with the Lord’s help, the commitment to change our life.
"In the face of sin, God shows himself to be full of mercy and he does not fail to call sinners to avoid evil, to grow in his love and to concretely help our neighbor in need, to live the joy of grace and not risk eternal death."
The Holy Father added that the "possibility of conversion entails that we learn to read the events of life in the light of faith, animated by the holy fear of God."
He said that in the presence of suffering or grief, "true wisdom is to let oneself be called from the precariousness of existence and to read human history with God’s eyes, who, always and only wanting the good of his children, by an inscrutable plan of his love, sometimes allows them to be tried through suffering to lead them to a greater good."
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