Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pope Summarizes Christian Message

Says It's About Love for God and Neighbor

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 8, 2008 ( The message of Christianity is one of love for God and neighbor, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope reflected today before praying the Angelus with several thousand people gathered in St. Peter's Square on the passage from Hosea that Jesus repeats in Sunday's Gospel: “I want love and not sacrifice."

"We have a key word here, one that opens for us the door to the heart of sacred Scripture," the Pontiff said.

He explained that when Christ called Matthew, who was "considered a public sinner by the Jews" because he was by profession a tax collector, the latter was "called while he was sitting on the tax collector’s bench."

Afterward, the Holy Father continued, "Jesus goes to Matthew’s house with his disciples and sits down to dinner with other publicans."

Benedict XVI then recalled Christ's words to the "scandalized Pharisees": “The healthy do not need the doctor but the sick do … I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

"The Evangelist Matthew," said the Pope, "who is always attentive to the link between the Old and the New Testament, puts the words of Hosea’s prophecy on Jesus’ lips."

Matthew reports that Jesus said, “Go, therefore, and learn the meaning of the words: ‘It is mercy that I want and not sacrifice.’”

"This word of God has reached us, through the Gospels, as one of the syntheses of the entire Christian message," said the Pontiff. "True religion consists in the love of God and neighbor."

No comments: