VATICAN CITY — At the Sunday Angelus prayers at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI said that the Sunday Gospel about the passing of the world is a reminder that Jesus Christ is the focus and source of all creation.
“Everything passes, but the word of God does not change, and each of us is responsible for his behavior before it,” Pope Benedict said from his window in St. Peter’s Square Nov. 18. “It is upon this that we shall be judged.”
Jesus does not act as a visionary who gives forecasts and dates, the Pope explained. Rather, he wants to show his disciples “the right path to walk on, today and tomorrow, to enter into eternal life.”
The Pope emphasized the centrality of Jesus in his comments to English-speaking pilgrims.
“Jesus tells us that although heaven and earth will pass away, his words will remain,” he said. “Let us pledge ourselves to build our lives more and more on the solid foundation of his holy word, the true source of life and joy.”
The Pope’s general comments focused on the Sunday Gospel reading from St. Mark, a reading he said is “probably the most difficult text of the Gospels.”
The reading “speaks of a future beyond our categories” and uses images and words taken from the Old Testament.
But, above all, the Pope said, the reading “integrates a new center”: Jesus Christ himself and “the mystery of his Person and of his death and resurrection.”
The word of God is “the source of all creation,” and its creative power is “focused in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.”
Jesus’ words are the “true firmament” that directs the thoughts and the path of mankind.
Even though Jesus uses the apocalyptic images of a darkened sun and moon, falling stars and the shaking of the heavens, these images are relativized by the statement that the Son of Man, Jesus himself, is coming “with power and great glory.”
Said Pope Benedict, “He is the true event that, in the midst of the turmoil of the world, remains the firm and stable center.”