He started his homily by noting how in the painting in the Church that depicts Our Lady she is seen as holding her Son in one hand and with the other reaches out to sinners.
“For this reason, we invoke her frequently as ‘our hope’ because she has shown us Jesus and passed down to us the great things which God constantly does for humanity,” he said.
Passing on to comment on the reading they had heard at vespers he said: “The people of Jerusalem and their leaders did not acknowledge Christ, yet, by condemning him to death, they fulfilled the words of the prophets.
“Human evil and ignorance simply cannot thwart the divine plan of salvation and redemption,” he added.
“There is no reason, then, to give in to the despotism of evil” the Pope said. “Let us instead ask the risen Lord to manifest his power in our weakness and need.”
The Pontiff said that he had been looking forward to this meeting with the bishops of Mexico and Latin America.
“I see this meeting as an occasion to turn our gaze together to Christ, who has entrusted you with the splendid duty of preaching the Gospel among these peoples of sturdy and deep-rooted Catholic faith,” he told them.
The Pope acknowledged the challenges and difficulties facing their dioceses, but added that they are able to move forward with confidence, knowing that the Lord is risen and “that evil does not have the last word in human history.”
Confirming in faith
He thanked the bishops for their patience and work carried out with humility.
“Know that you can count on a special place in the prayers of the one who has received from Christ the charge of confirming his brethren in faith,” he said.
Referring to the anniversary of two centuries of independence for countries in Latin America Benedict XVI referred to the work carried out by missionaries who proclaimed Christ.
“They gave their all for Christ, demonstrating that in him men and women encounter the truth of their being and the strength needed both to live fully and to build a truly humane society in accordance with the will of their Creator,” he observed.
Speaking about the forthcoming Year of Faith the Pope said it would be an opportunity for people to liberate themselves from sin and slavery, and to be able to achieve authentic freedom.
He recommended the study and reading of Scripture. “I encourage you to continue to share freely the treasures of the Gospel, so that they can become a powerful source of hope, freedom and salvation for everyone.”
Before finishing the Pope urged the bishops to care well for their seminarians and also to ensure good faith formation for the lay faithful involved in catechesis, the liturgy and other areas of the Church’s activities.
“I urge you to be vigilant in proclaiming day and night the glory of God, which is the life of mankind,” the Pope added.
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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-34511?l=english