Pope Benedict: Boldly Proclaim God’s Love
Jesus came not to say what people wanted to hear, the Holy Father teaches, but, rather, ‘to give testimony to the truth.’
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday asked Christians to proclaim God’s love with “boldness, humility and coherence” like Jesus.
“Let us ask the Lord to give each of us a spirit of courage and wisdom, so that in our words and actions, we may proclaim the saving truth of God’s love with boldness, humility and coherence,” said Pope Benedict in his remarks after the Sunday Angelus prayer.
“Jesus did not come to seek the consent of men, but to give testimony to the truth,” Pope Benedict told the thousands of pilgrims gathered at St. Peter’s Square Feb. 3.
“The true prophet does not obey anyone other than God and places himself at the service of truth, ready to pay in person,” he added from the window of the Apostolic Palace.
He noted that “it is true that Jesus is the prophet of love, but love has its own truth.”
He explained that love and truth are “two names for the same reality” and “two names of God.”
The Holy Father added that the Sunday liturgy echoes the words of St. Paul.
“Love does not boast; it is not puffed up with pride; it is not disrespectful; it does not seek its own interests and does not get angry,” said Pope Benedict.
“It does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice over wrongdoings, but rejoices with the truth,” he said.
The Pope said that to believe in God is to “give up prejudices and accept the concrete face in which he has revealed himself, the man Jesus of Nazareth.”
“This way also leads us to recognize him and serve him in others,” he added.
He talked about the Sunday reading in which Jesus reads a passage of the Old Testament at a synagogue. Jesus said that “no prophet is accepted in his own country” and named two miracles performed by the prophets Elijah and Elisha.
Pope Benedict said Jesus’ words “showed that sometimes there is more faith outside of Israel.”
“At that point, the reaction was unanimous, as all rose to hunt him down and to try to throw him off a cliff, but he calmly passes through the angry people and leaves,” said Pope Benedict.
“Why did Jesus want to cause this failure?” he asked.
“But this is precisely the point: Jesus did not come to seek the consent of men, but to give testimony to the truth.”