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Prepare for Christ’s coming by honesty, care for others: Pope

Catholic World News - December 17, 2012

“Justice and charity are not opposed,” Pope Benedict XVI told his public audience on Sunday, December 16. “Both are necessary and complement each other.”

The Pope offered a short meditation on the day’s Gospel reading, in which St. John the Baptist is asked how people should prepare for the arrival of the Messiah. That question, the Pope remarked , has “current relevance” during the Advent season.

St. John replied that those who had two cloaks, or extra food, should share with those in need. The Pontiff said: “Justice requires that we overcome the imbalance between those who have more than they need and those who lack basic necessities; charity impels us to care for one another, to reach out to others and meet their needs, instead of seeking excuses to defend our own interests.”

In his answers, Pope observed, St. John the Baptist “does not ask for exceptional gestures, but rather the honest fulfillment of one's duty.” Honesty, respect for others, and observance of God’s law are the first steps in preparation for Christ’s coming.

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