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Archive of February 18, 2007

Holy Father recounts Jesus’ “manifesto” of love

Vatican City, Feb 18, 2007 (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI's weekly Angelus address focused on some of "the strongest words of Jesus: 'Love your enemies.'" According to the Holy Father, this teaching amounts to a "manifesto presented to all, to which He demands adherence on behalf of all His disciples."

But, Pope Benedict asked, what is the meaning of this command?  Loving one's enemies is "a love that exceeds human capacity," but is reasonable because "there is too much violence and too much injustice in the world." Thus, man needs to show more love and more goodness in order to overcome these evils. And, the Holy Father added, "This 'more,'” comes directly from God, “it is His mercy that was made flesh in Jesus."

Calling this Gospel teaching the "Magna Carta" of Christian nonviolence, the Holy Father warned against "a false interpretation of 'turning the other cheek'" that "consists of surrendering to evil." Instead, man must "respond to evil with good, thus breaking the cycle of injustice."

Benedict emphasized that all Christians must "be so convinced of the love of God and His power that they are not afraid to confront evil armed only with love and truth." The Christian "Love Revolution" is not based upon human agents or resources, but "is a gift from God that one obtains by trusting solely and without reserve in His merciful goodness."

The Pope closed his address by invoking the Prayers of the Virgin Mary, "that she may help us to allow ourselves to be conquered by this love and to learn to love as He has loved us."

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Gospel:: Lk 4:38-44

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Lk 4:38-44

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