Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Angelus this Sunday with the faithful gathered beneath his window in St. Peter’s Square. The focus of his remarks ahead of the traditional Marian prayer was this Sunday’s Gospel reading, taken from the 13th chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark, which deals with the end times and is known as the eschatological discourse.
"Jesus does not describe the end of the world, and when he uses apocalyptic images, does not behave as a" visionary. "On the contrary, he wants to steal his disciples of every age with curiosity as to dates, predictions, and instead wants to give them a key to profound and essential, and especially indicate the right path to walk on, today and tomorrow, to enter into eternal life. "
With these words before the Angelus prayer today in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI "demitizza" false images on the end of the world that are based on bogus interpretations related to biblical expressions. Citing the Gospel of the Mass today (33rd Sunday in the year, B, Mark 13.24-32), the Pope recalled "some cosmic images of apocalyptic:" The sun shall be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers that are in heaven will be shaken "(v. 24-25)." These images feed a market apocalyptic, catastrophic, soothsayers and magicians dates characteristics and seven pseudocristiane, such as Jehovah's Witnesses.
The Pope says that "Jesus uses images and words taken from the Old Testament, but also inserts a new center, which is Christ himself, the mystery of his person and of his death and resurrection."
And if "today's passage opens with some cosmic pictures of the apocalyptic genre", this element is relativized by the following: "Then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (v. 26) ".
"The" Son of Man "- continues the pope - is Jesus himself, which connects the present with the future, the ancient words of the prophets have finally found one in the person of the Messiah Nazarene: He is the true event which, in the middle the upheavals in the world, remains firm and stable. Confirming this is another expression of the Gospel today. Jesus says: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (v. 31). In fact, we know that in the Bible the Word of God is the source of creation, all creatures, from the cosmic elements - sun, moon, sky - obey the Word of God, because there are "called" by it. This creative power of God's Word has focused in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, and also passes through its human words, which are the true "firmament" that directs the thoughts and man's journey on earth. This is why Jesus does not describe the end of the world, and when he uses apocalyptic images, does not behave as a "visionary." On the contrary, he wants to steal his disciples of every age with curiosity as to dates, forecasts, and instead wants to give them a clue profound and essential, and especially indicate the right path to walk on, today and tomorrow, to enter into eternal life. Everything passes - reminds us of the Lord - but the Word of God does not change, and in front of it each of us is responsible for their own behavior. Based on this we will be judged. "
"Dear friends, - concluded Benedict XVI - even in our times there are natural disasters, and unfortunately even wars and violence. Even today we need a stable foundation for our life and our hope, the more so because of relativism in which we are immersed. May the Virgin Mary help us to welcome this center in the person of Christ and his Word. "
It was a theme to which the Holy Father returned in his English-language remarks to pilgrims and visitors after the Angelus prayer:
I greet all the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims present for today’s Angelus. This Sunday, as the liturgical year draws to a close, Jesus tells us that although heaven and earth will pass away, his words will remain. Let us pledge ourselves to build our lives more and more on the solid foundation of his holy word, the true source of life and joy. May God bless all of you!
Speaking in Spanish, the Holy Father recalled the beatification – on Saturday – of María Pérez Crescencia, a religious of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden, who lived in the early part of the last century. Pope Benedict celebrated the newly Blessed Maria as, “a model of evangelical gentleness animated by faith.”