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Pope reflects on Gospel, confession of faith

October 09, 2012

A day after Pope Benedict inaugurated the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops with a solemn Mass and the declaration of two new doctors of the Church, the synod fathers opened their deliberations with the praying of Terce (Midmorning Prayer), during which Pope Benedict delivered a lengthy meditation.

The topic of the synod is “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.”

In his meditation, the Pontiff traced the history of the word evangelium (Gospel) from the Book of Isaiah to its use at the time of Augustus, the first Roman emperor. “‘Gospel’ means: God broke his silence, He spoke to us and entered into history,” the Pope reflected. “This fact as such is salvation: God knows us, God loves us, has entered into history. Jesus is his Word, the God who showed that he loved us, who suffered with us even unto death, then rose again.”

The Pope then reflected on Nunc, Sancte, nobis Spiritus, one of the two hymns for Terce in the Latin edition of the Liturgy of the Hours.

“We cannot make the Church; we can only make known what [God] did,” he said. “The Church did not begin with our actions but with the actions and word of God … The fact, then, that each synodal assembly begins with prayer is no mere formality; rather, it is evidence of our awareness that the initiative is always God’s: we may implore it, but the Church can only cooperate with God.”

Pondering the meaning of the word confessio, which appears in the hymn, the Pope added that “the Christian confession includes essentially the willingness to suffer: this seems to me very important.”


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