Pope Benedict: It is Upon the Word of God That We Shall be Judged

Pope Benedict XVI. Credit: Mazur / catholicchurch.org.uk.

Vatican City, Nov 18, 2012 / 04:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- During his Sunday Angelus remarks at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI said that the Sunday gospel reading about the passing of the world is a reminder that Jesus Christ is the focus and source of all creation.

“Everything passes, but the Word of God does not change, and each of us is responsible for his behavior before it,” Pope Benedict said Nov. 18, from his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square. “It is upon this that we shall be judged.”

Jesus does not act as a visionary who gives forecasts and dates, the Pope explained. Rather, he wants to show his disciples “the right path to walk on, today and tomorrow, to enter into eternal life.”

The Pope emphasized the centrality of Jesus in his comments to English-speaking pilgrims.

“Jesus tells us that although heaven and earth will pass away, His words will remain,” he said. “Let us pledge ourselves to build our lives more and more on the solid foundation of His holy word, the true source of life and joy.”

The Pope focused his remarks on the Sunday gospel reading from St. Mark, a passage he said is “probably the most difficult text of the Gospels.”

The reading “speaks of a future beyond our categories” and uses images and words taken from the Old Testament.

But above all, the Pope said, the reading “integrates a new center:” Jesus Christ himself and “the mystery of his person, and of his death and resurrection.”

The Word of God is “the source of all creation” and its creative power is “focused in Jesus Christ, the word made flesh.”

Jesus’ words are the “true firmament” that directs the thoughts and the path of mankind.

Even though Jesus uses the apocalyptic images of a darkened sun and moon, falling stars and the shaking of the heavens, these images are set against the backdrop of his statement that the Son of Man, Jesus himself, is coming “with power and great glory.”

“He is the true event that, in the midst of the turmoil of the world, remains the firm and stable center,” Pope Benedict said.

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  • http://jobowerwrites.wordpress.com Jo Randall Bower

    It is as we connect God as creator with Jesus the King’s life and message that we have the foundation upon which to build faith in Jesus’ salvation work. The pause here between the end of the Christian year and Advent gives us a chance to reestablish the connections. God, the creator of all, sent his son, reached out to us – me – and sent His Son. And so begins the celebration!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you for this thoughtful comment Jo. Very astute.

  • Bill S

    I don’t know how the stars would fall from the sky other than meteor showers. I would suggest that either Jesus really said it and had no idea of the sizes of the stars or Mark added it. I would prefer to think the latter

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      It’s possible Bill that Jesus was not thinking of literal stars but lights of some sort that looked like stars. Perhaps he had something else in mind altogether. He used a lot of metaphor and parable in his teachings. Present-day atheists are the only people I know of who are absolutely literal about every verse in the Bible, and I think they misunderstand deliberately to try to use their deliberate misunderstandings as a basis for jibing at Christians.

      • Bill S

        Because I still go to church every Saturday afternoon with my wife, I hear these gospels and homilies and I cringe. I think people do take these things literally. It does seem that the writers of the Gospels used their own imaginations to add to what Jesus actually said and that we should not take everything so literally. But there are people who believe the stars will fall from the sky and Jesus will literally return in person.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          I know a lot of people, including many charismatics and fundamentalists, and I’ve never known anyone who took this that literally. If you do, what can I say?

          • Bill S

            People today know the stars can’t fall from the sky, but they do believe that Jesus, himself, will return and that they will have resurrected bodies like his. People expect their decomposed bodies to be put back together again. I was Catholic (and still am to a certain extent) for 60 years. I know what I was taught to believe. No one told me that this was just figurative speach. My current belief is that the cessation of brain activity will be the permanent end of me as a person. What happens to my body after that is of no consequence.