Pope Gives Reason to Take Heart, Despite Crisis

Affirms There Is No Darkness Stronger Than His Light

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 7, 2009 (Zenit.org).- In the midst of a social crisis or violence, Christ is the only true hope, Benedict XVI affirmed during a Mass for the feast of the Epiphany.



The resurrection of Jesus, by which he triumphed over the power of death, is the "conviction" that sustains the path of the Church through the course of history, the Pope stated Tuesday at the celebration at St. Peter's Basilica.

"There is no shadow, no matter how dark it is, that is capable of clouding the light of Christ," he said. "Because of this, hope never falters in those who believe in Christ, not today either, faced with the great social and economic crisis in which humanity finds itself."

This hope, the Holy Father continued, prevails "before the hate and destructive violence that does not cease to bloody many regions of the earth, before the egotism and man's pretension of making himself his own god, which sometimes leads to dangerous alterations to the divine design for life and the dignity of the human being, for the family and the harmony of creation."

"Our effort to liberate human life and the world from the poisoning and contamination that could destroy the present and the future maintains its value and meaning," he said, citing "Spe Salvi." And this value is not decreased, the Pontiff added, "even when we apparently don't have success or it seems that we are powerless before hostile forces."

"What moves us and guides our activity, both in the good moments and in the bad, is the great hope founded in the promises of God," the Bishop of Rome continued.

In this context, he assured, the Church "cannot glory in anything but its Lord; light does not come from her, glory is not hers."

"But precisely this is her joy, which no one can take away: to be the 'sign and instrument' of he who is 'lumen gentium,' light for the peoples," Benedict XVI explained.

The Pope concluded by proposing an exchange of prayer: "Pray for us, pastors of the Church, so that daily assimilating the Word of God, we can transmit it faithfully to our brothers.

"But we also pray for you, the faithful, because every Christian is called by baptism and confirmation to announce Christ, light of the world, with his word and testimony of life."