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Give thanks, ask God’s forgiveness, Pope says in year-end homily

Catholic World News - January 02, 2014

In his last homily of 2013, Pope Francis preached on the Christian vision of time and challenged Romans to become more active citizens.

Citing St. John, Pope Francis told those present that we are living in the last hour, in the fullness of time brought by Christ. “The biblical and Christian vision of time and history,” he said, “is not cyclical, but linear: it is a path that leads towards a conclusion.”

Recalling the days and weeks of 2013 and offering them to the Lord, the Pope asked whether we have used time mainly for ourselves or for others. He added, “How much time have we reserved to be with God, in prayer, in silence, in worship?”

The Pope then asked the citizens of Rome, “a city full of tourists, but also full of refugees,” whether they viewed life “from the balcony,” or whether they have become involved in addressing the city’s problems, especially those of the poor, who “in the end, and in the beginning, whether we like it or not, are our brothers.”

Pope Francis added that we should conclude the year by thanking God and asking for forgiveness.

The Pope’s homily took placed in St. Peter’s Basilica during the celebration of First Vespers of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Te Deum was recited in thanksgiving for the blessings of the year, and Eucharistic adoration concluded with the papal benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

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