This is the list of homily by Fr. Cantalamessa during Advent 2012.
- A year of the Lord’s favour (7th Dec 2012)
- Vatican II – key to its interpretation (14th Dec 2012)
- Evangelizing through joy (21st Dec 2012)
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
The Gospel according to Luke recounts that when the shepherds of Bethlehem had received the Angel’s announcement of the Messiah’s birth “they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger” (2:16). The first eyewitnesses of Jesus’ birth therefore beheld a family scene: a mother, a father and a newborn son. For this reason the Liturgy has us celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family on the First Sunday after Christmas. This year it occurred the very day after Christmas, and, taking precedence over the Feast of St Stephen, invites us to contemplate this “icon” in which the little Jesus appears at the centre of his parents’ affection and care.
In the poor grotto of Bethlehem — the Fathers of the Church wrote — shines a very bright light, a reflection of the profound mystery which envelopes that Child, which Mary and Joseph cherish in their hearts and which can be seen in their expression, in their actions, and especially in their silence. Indeed, they preserve in their inmost depths the words of the Angel’s Annunciation to Mary: “the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Lk 1:35).
Yet every child’s birth brings something of this mystery with it! Parents who receive a child as a gift know this well and often speak of it in this way. We have all heard people say to a father and a mother: “this child is a gift, a miracle!”. Indeed, human beings do not experience procreation merely as a reproductive act but perceive its richness and intuit that every human creature who is born on earth is the “sign” par excellence of the Creator and Father who is in Heaven.
How important it is, therefore, that every child coming into the world be welcomed by the warmth of a family! External comforts do not matter: Jesus was born in a stable and had a manger as his first cradle, but the love of Mary and of Joseph made him feel the tenderness and beauty of being loved. Children need this: the love of their father and mother. It is this that gives them security and, as they grow, enables them to discover the meaning of life. The Holy Family of Nazareth went through many trials, such as the “massacre of the innocents” — as recounted in the Gospel according to Matthew — which obliged Joseph and Mary to flee to Egypt (cf. 2:13-23). Yet, trusting in divine Providence, they found their stability and guaranteed Jesus a serene childhood and a sound upbringing.
Dear friends, the Holy Family is of course unique and unrepeatable, but at the same time it is a “model of life” for every family because Jesus, true man, chose to be born into a human family and thereby blessed and consecrated it. Let us therefore entrust all families to Our Lady and to St Joseph, so that they do not lose heart in the face of trials and difficulties but always cultivate conjugal love and devote themselves with trust to the service of life and education.
In his Sunday greetings, the pope urges us to rediscover the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit!
Let us rediscover, dear brothers and sisters, the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit; let us be aware again of our baptism and of our confirmation, sources of grace that are always present.
“Let us ask the Virgin Mary to obtain a renewed Pentecost for the Church again today, a Pentecost that will spread in everyone the joy of living and witnessing to the Gospel.”
You can read the full article here.
And if you want to read the Pope’s homily for Pentecost, you can find it in this page.
A wonderful reflection by Pope Benedict XVI on St. Benedict of Nursia. You can find the full article in this page.
One thing that caught my heart is this:
There is a particular aspect of his spirituality, which today I would particularly like to underline. Benedict did not found a monastic institution oriented primarily to the evangelization of barbarian peoples, as other great missionary monks of the time, but indicated to his followers that the fundamental, and even more, the sole objective of existence is the search for God: “Quaerere Deum.”
He knew, however, that when the believer enters into a profound relationship with God he cannot be content with living in a mediocre way, with a minimalist ethic and superficial religiosity. In this light, one understands better the expression that Benedict took from St. Cyprian and that is summarized in his Rule (IV, 21) — the monks’ program of life: “Nihil amori Christi praeponere.” “Prefer nothing to the love of Christ.”
This is the question asked by the pope in his homily during Palm Sunday. You can read the full in this article
It is a wonderful reflection. The one that caught my attention is the following paragraph
Benedict XVI said that Christ’s zeal for the temple should lead Christians of today to reflect: “Is our faith pure and open enough that, beginning from it, the ‘pagans’ — the persons today who are seeking and have their questions — can also intuit the light of the one God, can associate themselves with our prayer in the atriums of faith and by their seeking perhaps become worshippers?
“Does the awareness that greed is idolatry also reach our heart and our life practices? Do we not perhaps also allow idols to enter even into the world of our faith? Are we disposed to let the Lord purify us again and again, allowing him to chase out of us and the Church what is contrary to him?”