Vatican City, Dec 21, 2007 / 07:58 am
Every year the Pope holds a “Christmas party” of sorts with the various offices that help him run the Catholic Church around the world. This year, Pope Benedict took the opportunity to share his reflections on important events from the past year including how encountering Jesus and sharing His Gospel is the answer to the world’s problems.
The Holy Father used his visit to Brazil where he opened the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops from Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM), as a springboard for talking about how the Church should engage the modern world.
Pope Benedict XVI recalled the theme of the conference, "Disciples and missionaries in Jesus Christ, that in Him our peoples may have life," and then mentioned some possible objections to this choice of subject: "Was it not," he asked, "perhaps excessively concentrated on interior life at a time in which the great challenges of history - the urgent problems of justice, peace and freedom - require the complete commitment of all men and women of good will, and in particular of Christianity and the Church?"
To answer this objection, the Holy Father proceeded, "it is necessary to understand the true meaning of the theme." The key idea is that of "finding life," he said, "and the theme presupposes that this objective ... is to be attained through discipleship of Jesus Christ and through commitment to His word and His presence."