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Pope, at audience, reflects on Abraham as model of faith

Catholic World News - January 23, 2013

At his weekly public audience on January 23, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the first line of the Creed: “I believe in one God.”

That phrase is “a fundamental affirmation, seemingly simple in essence, but which opens us to the infinite world of a relationship with the Lord and with His mystery,” the Pope remarked.

The patriarch Abraham, the Pope continued, is “the first great model in speaking about faith in God.” Abraham was able to recognize that “the darkness of the unknown is illuminated by the light of a promise.”

God’s promise to Abraham is a paradoxical one, the Pope observed:

He will be blessed, but without the visible signs of blessing. He receives the promise of becoming a great nation, but has a life marked by the sterility of his wife, Sarah. He is led to a new land, but will have to live there as a foreigner.

Abraham, however, was able to recognize the blessing that he had received, the Pope said. He was able to place his trust in God even when he did not fully understand God’s promise. When we recite that first line of the Creed, the Pope said, “we are saying, as does Abraham, ‘I trust in You.’”

“Abraham, the believer, teaches us faith and, like a foreigner on earth, points out our true homeland,” the Pope said. A firm belief is particularly important today, he added, at a time when society often prefers to ignore God’s existence. And yet, Pope Benedict said, “the thirst for God is not quenched and the Gospel message continues to resonate through the words and deeds of many men and women of faith.”

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