Saturday, January 01, 2005

Pope's New Year Address

From Asia News in Italy:

“We begin the year celebrating Mary, Mother of God, Theotokos. The Holy Virgin offered the world the Messiah who is God’s blessing to every man and woman and the entire world.

The greetings that are exchanged today are based on this blessing, greetings of well-wishing because in Christ God fills us with all sorts of good things, greetings of peace “For he is our peace (Eph 2:14).

It is in this liturgical context that today we celebrate World Peace Day whose theme is the apostle Paul’s entreaty: “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good” (Rom 12:21).

“Evil [. . .] is the result of human freedom” and is defeated when freedom, prompted by grace, firmly turns towards the Good, i.e. God.

May Mary, Queen of Peace, help us all build the fundamental good that is human co-existence. Only thus can the world progress along the paths of justice and fraternal solidarity.

After the prayer, the Pope said:

“Once again I feel close to the communities stricken by the tragic calamity of the last few days.

“In pledging my prayers for the victims and their families I salute the many acts of compassion and empathy taken around the world.

“It is this sense of compassion for fellow humans as well as God’s help that give hope for better days in the coming year.