Pavens hilsen siste søndag i kirkeåret

Pave Benedikt holdt som vanlig en kort tale fra sitt kontorvindu i går kl 12, som han gjør alle søndager. I går feiret alle katolikker en dag som kalles Kristi kongefest, som ble innført i 1925 og som fokuserer spesielt på at Kristus er konge i vårt liv.

Når man leser dette korte budskapet fra paven om Kristus og hans betydning for menneskene, finner vi en sentral og helt vanlig (også for protestanter) understreking av Kristi frelsesverk. Avslutningsvis kommer en typisk katolsk (for protestanter mer uvanlig) understrekingen av at Maria også har en sentral plass i Guds frelsesplan. (Se angelus-bønnen her.)

Dette sa paven i går:

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
On this last Sunday of the liturgical year we celebrate the solemnity of Christ, King of the Universe. Today’s Gospel presents a passage of the dramatic interrogation to which Pontius Pilate subjected Jesus, when he was handed over to him with the accusation of having usurped the title «king of the Jews.»

Jesus responded to the questions of the Roman governor affirming that he was King, but not of this world (cf. John 18:36). He did not come to dominate peoples and territories, but to free men from the slavery of sin and be reconciled with God. And he added: «For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice» (John 18:37).

But, what is the «truth» which Christ came into the world to witness? His whole existence reveals that God is love. This is, therefore, the truth of which he gave full testimony with the sacrifice of his own life on Calvary. The cross is the «throne» from which he manifested the sublime royalty of God-Love. By giving himself in expiation of the sin of the world, he defeated the power of the «prince of this world» (John 18:31) and established definitively the Kingdom of God. A Kingdom that is manifested in fullness at the end of time, after all his enemies and finally death, are subjected to him (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:25-26).

Then the Son will hand over the Kingdom to the Father and finally God will be «all in all» (1 Corinthians 15:28). The road to achieve this goal is long and it is not possible to take short cuts. It is necessary that each person freely accept the truth of the love of God. He is Love and Truth, and love as well as truth never impose themselves: They knock on the door of the heart and mind and, where they enter, bring peace and joy. This is the way God reigns; this is his plan of salvation, a «mystery,» in the biblical sense of the term, namely, a plan that is revealed little by little in history.

The Virgin Mary is associated in a very special way to Christ’s royalty. God asked her, humble maiden of Nazareth, to become the Mother of the Messiah, and Mary corresponded to this call with her whole being, uniting her unconditional «yes» to that of her Son, Jesus, becoming with him obedient to the point of sacrifice. Because of this, God exalted her above all creatures and Christ crowned her Queen of Heaven and earth. We entrust the Church and the whole of humanity to her intercession, so that the love of God might reign in all hearts and his plan of justice and peace be fulfilled.

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