Saturday, February 02, 2013

Pope: God's omnipotence is expressed in the love and freedom he gifts us

The omnipotence of God "is not expressed in violence, in an adverse power, but in mercy, forgiveness, in accepting our freedom, in an untiring call to conversion of heart". This is the power of God and this is victorious."

Continuing in the Year of Faith, reflecting on the Creed, Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis for the general audience today to affirmation of God's fatherhood and omnipotence, established at the beginning of the profession of faith.

In it, the first and fundamental definition of God is "Father". " It is not always easy today to talk about fatherhood. Especially in our Western world, the broken families, increasingly absorbing work commitments, concerns, and often the fatigue of trying to balance the family budget, the distracting invasion of the mass media in daily life are some of the many factors that can prevent a peaceful and constructive relationship between fathers and children. At times communication becomes difficult, trust can be lost and relationships with the father figure can become problematic. Even imagining God as a father becomes problematic, not having had adequate models of reference. For those who have had the experience of an overly authoritarian and inflexible father, or an indifferent father lacking in affection, or even an absent father, it is not easy to think of God as Father and trustingly surrender oneself to Him. "

But Revelation and especially the Gospel "shows us what it really means to be a father," a father "who loves us so much that he gave his son for our salvation", a "greater and more faithful love than that of any man. If, as Jesus said, "He is good enough to make " his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust", we can always, without fear and with total confidence, trust in his Father's forgiveness when go wrong. God is a good Father who welcomes and embraces the lost and repented son, He gives himself freely to those who ask and offers the bread of Heaven and the living water that gives life forever".

"God is a Father who never abandons his children, a loving Father who supports, helps, welcomes, forgives, saves, with a fidelity that immensely surpasses that of men, opening up to an eternal dimension.."

"The love of God never fails, never tires of us, it is a love that gives to the extreme, even to the sacrifice of His Son. Faith gifts us this certainty, which becomes a sure rock in the construction of our lives so that we can face those moments of difficulty and danger, experience those times of darkness, crisis and pain, supported by the faith that God never abandons us and is always near, to save us and bring us to life. "

"It is in the Lord Jesus that we fully see the benevolent face of the Father who is in heaven. It is in knowing Him that we can know the Father in seeing Him we can the Father, because He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. He is the "image of the invisible God" as defined by the hymn of the Letter to the Colossians, "the firstborn of all creation ... the firstborn of those who rise from the dead", "through whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" and reconciliation of all things, "making peace by the blood of his cross [through him], whether those on earth or those in heaven
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But, "we might ask: how is it possible to imagine a God almighty looking at the Cross of Christ? At this evil power that arrives at killing the Son of God? We would prefer a divine omnipotence according to our thought patterns and our desires: an "Almighty" God who solves problems, who intervenes to save us from every difficulty, who defeats all adversaries, who changes the course of events and removes all pain. Thus, today many theologians say that God can not be omnipotent otherwise there would not be so much suffering, so much evil in the world. Indeed in the face of evil and suffering, it becomes difficult for many to believe in God the Father and believe Him to be Almighty; some seek refuge in idols, yielding to the temptation to find an answer in an alleged "magic" omnipotence and its illusory promises. Yet faith in the Almighty God pushes us to follow very different paths, to understand that God's thoughts are different to ours and his that God's ways are different from ours , and even his omnipotence is different: it is not expressed as an automatic or arbitrary force, but is marked by a loving and fatherly freedom. "

"Only the truly powerful can endure pain and show compassion, and only the truly powerful can fully exercise the power of love. And God, to whom all things belong because all things were made by Him, reveals His power loving everyone and everything, in a patient waiting for the conversion of us men, whom He wants to have as children. God is waiting for our conversion. The all-powerful love of God knows no bounds, so much so that "He did not spare his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (Romans 8:32). The omnipotence of love is not that of the power of the world, but that of total gift, and Jesus, the Son of God, reveals to the world the omnipotence of the Father giving his life for us sinners. This is the real, authentic and perfect divine power to respond to evil mot with evil, but with good, to insults with forgiveness, murderous hatred with love that gives life. So evil is really defeated, because washed by the love of God, death is finally defeated because it is turned into the gift of life".

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