Sunday, December 18, 2011
VATICAN : POPE : MYSTERY OF CHRISTMAS - WELCOME JESUS
RADIO VATICANA REPORT: During his Angelus reflections Pope Benedict focused on the Gospel this fourth Sunday of Advent which recounts the Angel’s annunciation to Mary and in particular on the significance of her virginity in salvation history: “the virginity of Mary is unique and unrepeatable, but its spiritual significance concerns every Christian. It, in essence, is tied to faith: in fact, those who trust deeply in God, welcome Jesus and His divine life within them, through the action of the Holy Spirit. This is the mystery of Christmas”.
Speaking from the window of his study overlooking St Peter’s square, the Holy father spoke of his concern in the aftermath of the Typhoon Washi, which slammed ashore Mindanao island while people slept late on Friday and early Saturday. Rescuers are still searching for more than 800 people missing in the flash floods and landslides that swept houses into rivers and out to sea, killing more than 650 people.
The Pope said : “I want to assure the populations of the southern Philippines, hit by a violent tropical storm, of my closeness. I pray for the victims, mostly children, the homeless and the many missing”.
Below a Vatican Radio translation of Pope Benedict XVI’s Angelus reflections:
Dear brothers and sisters!
In this fourth and final Sunday of Advent, the liturgy presents this year, the annunciation to Mary. Contemplating the beautiful icon of the Blessed Virgin, when she receives the divine message and gives her answer, we are internally illuminated by the light of truth which shines, always new, from that mystery. In particular, I would like to dwell briefly on the importance of the virginity of Mary, that is, the fact that she conceived Jesus while remaining a virgin.
In the background of the event’s at Nazareth is the prophecy of Isaiah. "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and call him Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). This age-old promise has found superabundant fulfillment in the Incarnation of the Son of God. In fact, not only did the Virgin Mary conceive, but she did so through the Holy Spirit, which is God himself. The human being that begins to live in her womb takes the flesh from Mary, but his existence is derived entirely from God 'fully human, made of earth - to use the biblical symbol - but he comes from above, from heaven. The fact that Mary conceived while remaining a virgin is, therefore, essential for the understanding of Jesus and our faith, because it witnesses that it was God’s initiative and above all it reveals who is conceived. As the Gospel says: " Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." (Luke 1.35). In this sense, the virginity of Mary and the divinity of Jesus reciprocally guarantee one another.
This is why that one question that Mary, 'very upset', addresses to the Angel 'How can this be, since I have no relations with a man? '(Lk 1.34) is so important. In her simplicity, Mary is wise: She does not doubt the power of God, but wants to better understand his will, to fully comply with this will. Mary is infinitely surpassed by the mystery, yet perfectly occupies the place that, at the very heart of it, she was assigned. Her heart and mind are fully humble, and, because of her singular humility, God expects the "yes" of this young girl to achieve His purpose. He respects her dignity and freedom. Mary's "yes" means both motherhood and virginity, and her wish that her everything be for the glory of God and that the Son who will be born to Her may be a gift of grace for al.
Dear friends, the virginity of Mary is unique and unrepeatable, but its spiritual significance concerns every Christian. It, in essence, is tied to faith: in fact, those who trust deeply in God, welcomes Jesus and his divine life within, through the action of the Holy Spirit. This is the mystery of Christmas.
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at this Angelus prayer. The Gospel of today's liturgy recounts the Archangel Gabriel's Annunciation to the Virgin Mary, That She Would conceive and bear a son To Be Called Jesus. Just as the Immaculate Virgin Brought God to us, May we be not afraid to let her bring us to God. In this final week of Advent, let us intensify our efforts to prepare for His coming. Upon you and your loved ones, I invoke the blessings of Almighty God!
SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA