Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pope's Prayers: "Hope" for Advent... and Healing for AIDS

Hours after rolling out his new ferula (left) at the kickoff of the new Church Year, the Pope talked hope at today's Angelus...
“The contemporary world needs hope above all; this is true for developing peoples but especially for developed peoples. Increasingly, we realise that we are in the same boat and that we can save ourselves together. With the collapse of so many false certainties, we are becoming especially aware of how we need reliable hope and that this is found only in Christ, who according to the Letter to the Hebrews Jesus “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (13:8). The Lord Jesus came in the past, comes in the present, and shall come in the future. He embraces all of time’s dimensions. Because he died and rose, he is the ‘Living’, and whilst he shared our human precariousness, he is always there, offering us God’s stability. He is “flesh” like us, and “rock” like God. Anyone who yearns for freedom, justice, and peace can stand erect and raise his head because in Christ redemption is at hand (cf Lk, 21:28).”
...then closed with his annual plug for Tuesday's World AIDS Day:
“[This coming 1 December sees the world day against AIDS.] My thoughts and prayers go to every person afflicted by this disease, especially the children, the very poor, and all those who are rejected. The Church does all it can to fight AIDS through its institution and staff. I urge everyone to make their contribution with prayers and actual care so that those suffering from the HIV virus may experience the presence of the Lord, source of comfort and hope. Lastly, I hope that, through more coordinated efforts, we may be able to stop and eradicate this disease.”
Earlier this year, of course, the pontiff was embroiled in controversy over comments he made during in-flight press conference on the use of condoms as a means of eradicating the disease. The question arose as Benedict began his weeklong trek to Cameroon and Angola in March -- this pontificate's first journey to Africa.

That said, this weekend likewise sees the second anniversary of the release of Spe Salvi, B16's encyclical on Christian hope.

PHOTO: Reuters