25-November-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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The Kingdom Of God Is Love That Serves, Not Worldly Power

Vatican City, 25 November 2012 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. today in St. Peter's Basilica, Benedict XVI presided at the concelebration of the Eucharist with the six new cardinals created in yesterday's consistory. At the beginning of Mass, Cardinal James Michael Harvey, archpriest of the papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, greeted the Pope on behalf of all the new cardinals.

Following are some extracts from the homily given by Holy Father:

"In this final Sunday of the liturgical year, the Church invites us to celebrate the Lord Jesus as King of the Universe. She calls us to look to the future, or more properly into the depths, to the ultimate goal of history, which will be the definitive and eternal kingdom of Christ. ... In the Gospel passage which we have just heard ... Pilate asks Jesus, 'Are you the King of the Jews?' In reply to this question, Jesus clarifies the nature of His kingship and His Messiahship itself, which is not worldly power but a love which serves".

"Jesus clearly had no political ambitions. After the multiplication of the loaves, the people, enthralled by the miracle, wanted to take Him away and make Him their king, in order to overthrow the power of Rome and thus establish a new political kingdom which would be considered the long-awaited kingdom of God. But Jesus knows that God's kingdom is of a completely different kind; it is not built on arms and violence. The multiplication of the loaves itself becomes both the sign that He is the Messiah and a watershed in His activity: henceforth the path to the Cross becomes ever clearer; there, in the supreme act of love, the promised kingdom, the kingdom of God, will shine forth. ... Jesus ... does not wish to be defended by arms, but ... to establish His kingdom not by armed conflict, but by the apparent weakness of life-giving love. The kingdom of God is a kingdom utterly different from earthly kingdoms.

"That is why, faced with a defenceless, weak and humiliated man, as Jesus was, a man of power like Pilate is taken aback. ... So he asks an apparently odd question: 'So you are a king?' ... But Jesus answers in the affirmative: 'You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice'. Jesus speaks of kings and kingship, yet He is not referring to power but to truth. ... Jesus came to reveal and bring a new kingship, that of God; He came to bear witness to the truth of a God Who is love, Who wants to establish a kingdom of justice, love and peace. Whoever is open to love hears this testimony and accepts it with faith, to enter the kingdom of God.

"We find this same perspective in the first reading we heard. The prophet Daniel foretells the power of a mysterious personage set between heaven and earth. ... This vision of the prophet, a messianic vision, is made clear and brought to fulfilment in Christ: the power of the true Messiah, the power which will never pass away or be destroyed, is not the power of the kingdoms of the earth which rise and fall, but the power of truth and love".

"In the second reading, the author of the Book of Revelation states that we too share in Christ's kingship. ... Here too it is clear that we are speaking of a kingdom based on a relationship with God, with truth, and not a political kingdom. By His sacrifice, Jesus has opened for us the path to a profound relationship with God: in Him we have become true adopted children and thus sharers in His kingship over the world. To be disciples of Jesus, then, means not letting ourselves be allured by the worldly logic of power, but bringing into the world the light of truth and God's love. ... It is a pressing invitation addressed to each and all: to be converted ever anew to the kingdom of God, to the lordship of God, of Truth".

"To you, dear and venerable Brother Cardinals - I think in particular of those created yesterday - is entrusted this demanding responsibility: to bear witness to the kingdom of God, to the truth. This means working to bring out ever more clearly the priority of God and His will over the interests of the world and its powers. Become imitators of Jesus, who, before Pilate, in the humiliating scene described by the Gospel, manifested His glory: that of loving to the utmost, giving His own life for those whom He loves. This is the revelation of the kingdom of Jesus".



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