Pope: Church Is to Be Hope for World in Advent
Says God Calls Us to Meet Him in Prayer
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Advent is the season of hope par excellence, and during this time, the Church is called to be hope for itself and for the world, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope affirmed this Saturday during his homily at the celebration of first vespers in St. Peter's Basilica.
He noted that in St. Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians, there is the exhortation to stay "irreprehensible 'for' the coming of the Lord."
"But in the original text we read 'in' the coming -- 'en te parousia' -- as if the coming of the Lord were, more than a future event, a spiritual place in which we already walk in the present, during the wait, and in which we are perfectly vigilant in every personal dimension," the Holy Father explained. "In effect, this is exactly what we live in the liturgy: celebrating the liturgical seasons, we actualize the mystery -- in this case the coming of the Lord -- in such a way as to be able, so to speak, to 'walk in it' toward its full realization, at the end of time, but already drawing sanctifying virtue from it from the moment that the last times have already begun with the death and resurrection of Christ."