The Church's commitment to proclaiming the Gospel "is that more necessary when faith might be dimmed by cultural situations that hinder its taking roots in people and society" and by "lifestyles based on individualism and ethical relativism."
Year of Faith, Benedict XVI devoted the Te Deum to the mission of evangelising with
which we give thanks to God because "despite everything, there is goodness in
the world, and this goodness is bound to win thanks to God."
vespers of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, celebrated this
afternoon in Saint Peter's Basilica were an invitation to reflect. They were
followed by the traditional thanksgiving hymn that concluded the calendar year.
it is hard to see that goodness exists in this world and that it will win "since
evil causes more noise than goodness. A brutal murder, widespread violence or major
injustices will make the news. Acts of love and service or the daily chores
done with faithfulness and patience will be overshadowed, from the limelight. For
this reason, we should not stop at the news if we want to understand the world
and life. We must be able to wait in silence and meditation as well as calm and
lasting reflection. We must be able to stop to think. This way, our minds can
be healed from the injuries of daily life and go deeper into the facts of our
life and the world to reach the wisdom that allows as the evaluate matters with
fresh eyes. When we collect our conscience, in which God speaks to us, we learn
how to look truthfully to our actions and the evil that is in and around us and
start a journey of conversion to make us wiser and better, capable of
solidarity and communion, to defeat evil with goodness.
Christians are men and
women of hope, also and especially against the darkness that often exists in
the world, which does not depend on God's plans but on mankind's wrong choices for
they know that the strength of faith can move mountains."
"The Year of Faith, which the Church is
living, is designed to raise awareness in the heart of each believer that Christ
is the source of true life and strong hope. Faith in Jesus allows us to renewal
goodness constantly; it provides us with the capacity of getting out of the
quick sands of sin and start anew."
reason, the pope repeatedly stressed the need to proclaim the Gospel to the
world and "his" city, Rome. "One the one hand," we have "a growing number of
believers from other religions, parish communities that are hard-pressed to
reach out to youth, and certain lifestyles based on individualism and ethical
relativism that are growing. On the other," the fact that "so many people seek meaning
for their own existence and hope that does not disappoint cannot leave us
work thus has "a missionary dimension" whose aim is to make Christians "coherent
disciples and witnesses of Jesus Christ".
parents are especially called to a life that is coherent with this task since
they are their children's first educators." Hence, they cannot be left alone,
but must be helped. Training is "a precious way" for this, Benedict XVI said.
"On the last night of the
year that is ending, on the eve of the new one that is coming, let us praise
the Lord!" said the pope in concluding. "Let us show to 'the one who is and who
was and who is to come' (Rev, 1:8)
repentance and ask for forgiveness for our sins. Let us give our sincere thanks
for the countless benefits provided by his Divine Kindness. In particular, let
us thank him for the grace and truth that came to us with Jesus Christ. The
future of every man lies in Him. The hopes of the Church and the world shall be
fulfilled by Him."