The reflection proposed by the Pope at the General Audience in the Paul VI Hall
That silent force
which triumphs over the din of the powers
The poverty of a Child who is born expresses that silent force of truth and love which overcome the tumult of the powers in the world. This is the essence of the Reflection on Christmas offered by the Pope on Wednesday morning, 19 December at the last General Audience this year.
The Pontiff reflected on the faith as shown by the Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Annunciation and he identified the words of the Angel's greeting as “an invitation to joy”. It is a joy, he said, that proclaims the end of the sadness that exists in the world because of life's limitations, suffering, death, wickedness, evil and all that “seems to block out the light of divine goodness”. And this joy is obviously connected with the Lord's coming among men and women that is now at hand.
However, in order to grasp the meaning of the Lord's coming among us we must make our own the same attentive attitude that Mary had in listening to the announcement of the Angel and, like Mary, we must fling our doors open to the Creator. It is then necessary to submit freely “to the words received, to the divine will in the obedience of faith”; even when we find ourselves facing the arcane mystery and when words “are difficult, almost impossible to accept”.
Further, the right attitude is that communicated by Mary and by her husband Joseph, demonstrated in their acceptance of Jesus' mysterious answer to them when they sought him anxiously and found him deep in conversation with the teachers in the Temple: “How is it that you sought me”, the Pope said, citing Luke's Gospel, “did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?”.
Therefore “the profound humility of the obedient faith of Mary who welcomes within her even what she does not understand in God's action, letting it be God who opens her mind and heart”, is what Benedict XVI proposes to people today for celebrating and living the Christmas festivities with greater awareness. And he also wanted to recall that “the glory of God is not expressed in the triumph and power of a king, it does not shine out in a famous city or a sumptuous palace”, but is revealed “in the very poverty of a Child”.
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