Wednesday, January 25, 2012

St. Paul shows the way to unification

Holy Father's homily uses the great missionary apostle as a guide for Christian unity

Pope Benedict XVI looked to the Apostles' most talented administrator as an example of Christian unification. The Holy Father's homily, from the Basilica of St. Paul, called upon separated Christians to be "changed by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord" (cf. 1 Cor 15.51-58)."

The Pope said that St. Paul's "extraordinary" transformation to Christ was not something the Apostle did by any human means, but the will God.

"It is first and foremost by the grace of God who has acted according to his inscrutable ways," the Pope said. "Moreover, considering carefully the story of St. Paul, we understand how the transformation he experienced in his life is not limited to an ethical level - such as conversion from immorality to morality - or the intellectual level - such as a change in our way of understanding reality - but it is rather a radical renewal of our being, similar in many respects to a rebirth."

The Pope spoke in front of an audience that included representatives from several Christian Denominations, who were gathered to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The Holy Father called upon all Christians to be "reborn" in unity and put aside divisions.

"While experiencing these days the painful situation of our divisions, we Christians can and must look to the future with hope, because Christ's victory means to overcome everything that keeps us from sharing the fullness of life with Him and with others. The resurrection of Jesus Christ confirms that the goodness of God overcomes evil, love overcomes death. He accompanies us in the fight against the destructive power of sin that harms humanity and all of God’s creation. The presence of the risen Christ calls all Christians to act together for the common good. United in Christ, we are called to share his mission, which is to bring hope to the places where there is injustice, hatred and despair. Our divisions diminish our witness to Christ. The goal of full unity, which we await with active hope and for which we pray with confidence, it is a secondary victory but important for the good of the human family."
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