Thursday, January 03, 2013

Pope: Mary’s blessing for the New Year, like a new journey

At the first Angelus of 2013, Benedict XVI has invited everyone to ask "Holy Mary, Mother of God, to bless us, like a mother blesses her children, who are going on a journey. A new year is like a journey: with the light and grace of God, may it be a path to peace for every person and every family, for each country and for the whole world. "

The Pope began with a "Happy New Year to all." 

He added: " On this first day of 2013, I would like God's blessing to be extended to every man and every woman in the world.  I do this with the ancient formula contained in Sacred Scripture: "The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and show thee mercy. The Lord turn his face to you and give you peace "(Numbers 6:24-26). Such as light and heat from the sun are a blessing to the earth, so the light of God is for humanity, when He shines His face upon it. This happened with the birth of Jesus Christ! God hath shown us the brilliance of His face: at the beginning in a very humble, hidden way - in Bethlehem, only Mary and Joseph and some shepherds were witnesses to this revelation -; but little by little, like the sun from dawn comes to noon, the light of Christ has grown and spread everywhere. Even in the short time of his earthly life, Jesus of Nazareth  made the face of God shine in the Holy Land, and then, through the Church animated by his Spirit, extended to all peoples the Gospel of peace. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favour rests" (Lk 2:14). This is the song of the angels at Christmas, and the song of the Christians in every clime, a song from the hearts and lips which passes into concrete actions, actions of love that build dialogue, understanding and reconciliation".

The memory of Christmas and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which the Church celebrates today, are interwoven with the World Day of Peace, commissioned by Pope Paul VI and now in its 46th edition. The theme chosen by Benedict XVI for this year is "Blessed are the peacemakers." "Yes, - said the pope - Yes, that Child, Who is the Word of God made flesh, came to give men a peace which the world can not give (cf. Jn 14:27). His mission is to break down the "dividing wall of hostility" (Eph 2:14). And when, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, He proclaims his "Beatitudes", among them there is also "blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Mt 5:9).  Who are the peacemakers? They are all those who, day by day, try to overcome evil with good, with the power of truth, with the weapons of prayer and forgiveness, with honest and well done work, with scientific research at the service of life, with the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The peacemakers are many, but they are not loud. As leaven in dough, they raise humanity according to God's plan".

After the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI repeated his best wishes to all for the new year: "May it be a really good year, and it will be, if we accept in us and among us, the love that Christ has given us."

After greeting the young people of the community of Taizé who came to Rome for the European meeting, the pontiff recalled all ecclesial initiatives taking place (in Italy) on the occasion of the World Day of Peace. 

"I think - he explained - in particular, of the national March which took place last night in Lecce, as well as that of this morning here in Rome, animated by the Community of Sant'Egidio. I greet the members of the Family Love Movement who kept vigil tonight in prayer in St. Peter's Square, in Milan and in Aquila. To you all I repeat the words of Jesus: "Blessed are the peacemakers". "

After greetings in various languages, he concluded: "I wish you all plenty of peace and good for each day of the New Year."

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