Death, Life in Christ Is More Than a Changing Season

Pope: God's Work in History Obeys His Grace, Not Nature

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 3, 2011 (Zenit.org).- God's intervention in the drama of human history does not obey any natural cycle; it only obeys his grace and faithfulness, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made this reflection today when he celebrated a traditional November Mass for the souls of bishops and cardinals who have died in the past year.

The Holy Father spoke of Christ's death as the "font of life, for into it God poured all of his love, as in a great cataract, which makes us think of the image of Psalm 41: 'Abyss calls to abyss, in the roar of your torrents; all your billows and waves have passed over me.'"

He said the the "abyss" of the love of God filled the "abyss" of death, "such that death no longer has power over Jesus Christ, nor over them who, by faith and baptism, are associated with him."

"This 'living with Jesus' is the fulfillment of the hope prophesied by Hosea: '… and we will live in his presence,'" he added.

"In truth, it is only in Christ that such a hope finds its real foundation," the Holy Father continued. "Before [Christ] it ran the risk of becoming an illusion, a symbol taken from the rhythm of the seasons: 'like the autumn rain, like the spring rain' (Hosea 6:3)."

The Pontiff noted that at the time of Hosea's ministry, the Israelites' faith was threatened by the naturalistic religions of the land of Canaan.

Such a faith is not able to save anyone from death, he said. "But God's intervention in the drama of human history does not obey any natural cycle; it only obeys his grace and faithfulness. The new and eternal life is the fruit of the tree of the cross, a tree that blossoms and bears fruit from the light of the sun of God."

It was the cross of Christ that was able to rescue nature from sin, the Pope stated. "A beneficent force greater than that which moves the cycles of nature, a Good greater than that of creation itself: a love that proceeds from the 'heart' itself of God and that, while it reveals the ultimate meaning of creation, renews it and directs it toward its original and final goal."

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-33764?l=english