Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus Message on Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent, which begins today, is a "wonderful time which awakens in our hearts the expectation of the return of Christ and the memory of His first coming, when He strips Himself of His divine glory to take on our mortal flesh". It is even more important in a "post-modern world .... Where God seems absent" and in which "... we sometimes think that God has withdrawn and has, so to speak, abandoned us."

This is how Benedict XVI explained the meaning of Advent before praying the Angelus with the faithful in St. Peter's Square. A time that marks the beginning of the new liturgical year, "a new journey of faith, to live together in Christian communities, but also, as always, to live within the history of the world, so it can be opened to the mystery of God, the salvation that comes from his love. "

The pope commented on the Christ’s words in this Sunday’s Gospel, "Be watchful! Be alert!": "This – he said - is the call of Jesus in the Gospel today. It is addressed not only to his disciples, but to everyone: ' Be watchful! Be alert!' (Mt 13.37). It is a healthy reminder to us that life is not only the earthly dimension, but it is projected towards a' beyond ', like a tender shoot that sprouts from the earth and opens up to the sky. A thinking seedling, man, endowed with freedom and responsibility, for this each of us will be called to account for how he has lived, how he used his abilities: if he kept them to themselves, or put them to use also for the benefit of others. "

The pontiff then commented on the words of the prophet Isaiah, " There is none who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to cling to you; for you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our guilt." (Isaiah 64.6 ): "How can we not be impressed by this description? It seems to reflect certain views of the post-modern cities where life becomes anonymous and horizontal, where God seems absent and man his own master, as if he was the creator and director of everything: constructions, employment, economy, transport, science, technology, everything seems to depend on man alone. And sometimes, in this world that seems almost perfect, shocking things happen, or in nature, or in society, so we think that God has withdrawn, so to speak, abandoning us to ourselves. "

"In fact - he added - the true"Lord "of the world is not man, but God. The Gospel says: Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping '(Mark 13.35-36). The Season of Advent comes each year to remind us of this, so that our lives find their proper orientation toward the face of God. The face, not of a 'master', but a Father and a Friend. With the Virgin Mary to guide us on our Advent journey, may we make our own the words of the prophet: Yet, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands (Isaiah 64.7). "

After the Marian prayer and before the greetings in different languages, Benedict XVI recalled the importance of the UN Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, which begin tomorrow in Durban (South Africa). "I hope - said the pontiff - that all members of the international community will agree on a responsible, credible and supportive response to this disturbing and complex phenomenon, taking into account the needs of the poorest people and future generations."

Finally the Pope greeted all the english-speaking pilgrims saying:"I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at this Angelus prayer. Today, the Church begins the celebration of Advent, which marks the beginning of a new liturgical year and our spiritual preparation for the celebration of Christmas. Let us heed the message in today’s Gospel by entering prayerfully into this holy season, so that we may be ready to greet Jesus Christ, who is God with us. I wish you all a good Sunday. May God bless all of you!"     

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