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The light that opens the eyes of man

· Benedict XVI concludes the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops reaffirming the urgent need for the new evangelization ·

Appeal for solidarity with the people of Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas hit by a devastating hurricane

“The urgent need to proclaim Christ anew in places where the light of faith has been weakened, in places where the fire of God is more like smouldering cinders, crying out to be stirred up”. The Pope underlined this in his Homily at the Mass concluding the Synod of Bishops in St Peter's Basilica on Sunday morning, 28 October.

The issues discussed during the three weeks of the 13th General Assembly resonated in Benedict XVI's Homily centered on the figure of the blind Bartimaeus. Commenting on the last miraculous healing by Jesus before the Passion in Mark's Gospel, the Pope explained how it was not a coincidence that the passage speaks about someone “whose eyes have lost the light. We know”, he said, “from other texts too that the state of blindness has great significance in the Gospels. It represents man who needs God’s light, the light of faith, if he is to know reality truly and to walk the path of life”. Then it becomes “essential to acknowledge one’s blindness, one’s need for this light, otherwise one could remain blind for ever”. Thus Bartimaeus is a model he “represents man who has lost the light and knows it, but has not lost hope”. So that “in the encounter with Christ, lived with faith”, he “regains the light he had lost, and with it the fullness of his dignity”. Thus for Benedict XVI “it is significant that the liturgy puts the Gospel of Bartimaeus before us today, as we conclude the Synodal Assembly on the New Evangelization”. Since “the new evangelization applies to the whole of the Church’s life”, the Holy Father proposed again the three pastoral themes which emerged from the Synod: appropriate catechesis accompanying preparation for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist; arousing a mission where the proclamation has not arrived and in countries of antique Christian tradition; dialogue by way of new methods and new languages for baptized persons who have moved away the Church. At the Angelus the Holy Father spoke of the Synod, defining it as a “moment of strong ecclesial communion”. After the Marian prayer, the Pope also remembered the devastating hurricane hitting Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas, as well as the earthquake in Calabria and Basilicata.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 22, 2019

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