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Good News begins with the Annunciation, Pope tells audience

Catholic World News - December 19, 2012

At his weekly public audience on December 19, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the Annunciation, saying that the angel’s greeting to the Virgin Mary “marks the beginning of the Gospel, the Good News.”

"This greeting is an invitation to rejoice, and announces the end of the sadness of the world,” the Pontiff told the audience in the Paul VI auditorium. He went on to note that when the angel Gabriel described Mary as “full of grace,” he was indicating that the joy sprang from “her communion with God…from being the dwelling of the Holy Spirit.”

The Pope held up Mary as a model for accepting God’s will. He cautioned, however, that “the opening of the soul to God and His action in faith also includes the element of darkness.” In Mary’s case, he said, “her faith experiences the joy of the Annunciation, but passes also through the darkness of the crucifixion of the Son, before finally arriving at the light of the Resurrection.” Fully accepting all that God intended for her, Pope Benedict said, “Mary’s ‘Yes’ to the will of God, to the obedience of faith, is repeated throughout her life up to its most difficult moment, that of the Cross.”

In concluding his public audience—the last weekly gathering before Christmas—the Pontiff said that the feast of the Nativity shows how God’s power confounds ordinary human expectations:

The glory of God is not made manifest in the triumph or power of a king, it does not shine from a resplendent palace, but rather finds its dwelling in the womb of a virgin, and reveals itself in the poverty of a child. The omnipotence of God, also in our life, acts with the often silent strength of truth and love. Faith tells us, therefore, that in the end the defenseless power of the Child triumphs over the noise of worldly powers.

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