Pursuit of Goodness Is Way to Union with God, Says Pope
At General Audience, He Focuses on Canticle in Isaiah 33
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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 30, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Bible shows that the path to communion with God is summarized in a profound rejection of evil, John Paul II says.
"God is not indifferent before good and evil," the Pope said during his address at today's general audience in St. Peter's Square. Indeed, in the pursuit of goodness, man can discover God's dwelling, he said.
Commenting on a canticle in Isaiah 33:13-16, the Holy Father was continuing his series of reflections on the Psalms and canticles of the Old Testament which have become part of daily Christian prayer.
Addressing the more than 12,000 faithful gathered for the audience, John Paul II said, "The just and holy Lord cannot tolerate impiety, corruption and injustice. He is unleashed as a 'consuming fire' and 'everlasting flames' against evil to annihilate it."
The Pope said that God, who is goodness itself, cannot dwell with evil; this is why the Bible states: "as wax is melted by fire, so the wicked will perish before God."
"God is not indifferent before good and evil, but shows himself annoyed and angry in the face of wickedness," the Pontiff stressed.
Yet, Isaiah's canticle is not somber, because its ultimate objective is the encounter between God and man. Because of this, "Isaiah lists six moral commitments for the true believer, faithful and righteous, who can dwell, without suffering harm, near the divine fire, a source of benefits for him," the Holy Father said.
"The first commitment consists of walking in righteousness," the Pope said, "namely, in considering the divine law as a lamp that lights up the path of life."
"The second coincides with loyal and sincere speech, sign of correct and authentic social relations," he added. "As a third commitment, Isaiah proposes rejection of 'gain from outrage,' thus combating the oppression of the poor and unjust wealth."
In the fourth place, "the believer is then determined to condemn political and judicial corruption, shaking 'his hands, lest they hold a bribe,' a thought-provoking image that indicates the refusal of donations made to deflect the application of the laws and the course of justice," the Holy Father continued.
"The fifth commitment is expressed with the significant gesture of 'stopping his ears,' when bloody proposals are made, acts of violence to be perpetrated," he explained.
Lastly, the sixth commitment implies "the complete refusal of any contact whatsoever with evil."
Whoever chooses to follow this honest and righteous conduct "will receive the security of that external and internal well-being that God gives to the one who is in communion with him," John Paul II added.