Pope: inundated with so many words, we are not inclined to listen to what God tells us
At the general audience, Benedict XVI continues his “school of prayer” reflecting on the Apocalypse of St. John. “Jesus holds the Church in his hand, He speaks to her with the penetrating power of a sharp sword” and addresses “an urgent appeal: Repent.” “The more and better we pray, with constancy and intensity, the more we assimilate ourselves to Jesus, and He truly enters our life and guides it, gifting it joy and peace.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “Inundated by so many words, we are not inclined to listen to what God tells us,” and “our prayer must first be Listening to God” and “praise of God,” not only , “as it is usually, of request.” With the resumption of general audiences at the Vatican, Benedict XVI returned today to his “school of prayer” in his reflections with the faithful.
To eight thousand people present in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope offered prayer in the Apocalypse, a “difficult book, but of great wealth.”
The work of the Apostle John, said Benedict XVI, has a community gathered on the day of the Lord: it presents the readers a message. There is also “the only case in the New Testament, of a dialogue between the Assembly and the reader.” “The reader and the assembly are, so to speak, the two protagonists of the development of the book; a festive greeting is addressed to them from the beginning,:” Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy ” . In constant dialogue with each other, triggering a symphony of praise, which is developed with a great variety of forms until the end. Listening to the reader who presents the message, listening to and observing the assembly that reacts, their prayer tends to become ours ” .
“The assembly, wrapped in the love of Christ, feels free from sin, proclaims the kingdom of Jesus, which belongs to Him. It recognises the great mission that through Baptism has been entrusted to to it to bring the presence of God to the world. And it concludes its celebration of thanksgiving looking once again directly at Jesus and, with growing enthusiasm, recognizing in Him the glory and the power to save humanity. The final ‘”Amen” concludes the hymn of praise to Christ. ”
The second contribution of the player is an invitation to accept into their lives the presence of Christ. “Having ascended into heaven, Jesus will return and then all the people will recognize Him and will turn their gaze to Him whom they have pierced.’ They will think of their sins, the cause of His crucifixion, and, as those who had witnessed it directly on Calvary, will mourn, asking forgiveness, to follow Him in life and thus prepare for full communion with Him, after his final return. ”
The assembly of this message reflects and expresses its amen, it “asks that this could really become reality, it asks to live in according to the discipleship of Christ.” And “there is the answer of God: I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. God, who reveals himself as the beginning and end of history, welcomes and takes the request of the Assembly to heart. He was, is and will be present and active with His love in human affairs, in the present, in the future, as in the past, to the ultimate goal, this is God’s promise And here is another important element: constant prayer awakens in us a sense of the presence of the Lord in our lives and in history, and His is a presence that sustains us, guides us and gives us great hope also in the darkness of certain human events, in addition, every prayer, even in the most radical solitude, is never isolated and is never sterile, but it is the lifeblood to nourish an ever more committed and consistent Christian life. ”
In the second phase of the prayer, the assembly deepens our relationship with Jesus, “the Lord makes himself visible, speaks, acts, and the community, ever closer to Him, listens, reacts and welcomes.”
“Jesus holds the Church in his hand, speaking to it with the penetrating power of a sharp sword, and the splendour of his divinity.”
Jesus “speaks in the first person,” and addresses the seven churches located in Asia Minor around Ephesus, “to then spread to the churches of all time”. For addresses them “an urgent appeal:” Repent, “” Hold fast to what you have”, ” Be zealous therefore and be converted. “These words of Jesus, if listened to with faith, immediately begin to be effective: the Church in prayer, in receiving the word of the Lord, is transformed. All churches need to listen attentively to the Lord, opening to the Spirit as Jesus insistently asks repeating this command seven times: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Church “. The assembly, listening to the message receiving a stimulus for repentance, conversion, perseverance, growth in love, guidance for the journey.”
“The Book of Revelation – concluded the Pope – presents us with a community gathered in prayer, because it is in prayer that we experience the presence of Jesus with us and in us. The more and better we pray with consistency and intensity, the more we assimilate ourselves to him, and he really comes into our life and guides it, gifting it joy and peace. And the more we know, love and follow Jesus, the more we feel the need to pray with him, receiving serenity, hope and strength for our lives. “