True wisdom gives meaning to life amid darkness, says Benedict XVI

"True wisdom" can be spread by Christians to eliminate "darkness," said Pope Benedict XVI during the Sunday Angelus.

The Pope was joined by a crowd of pilgrims who covered much of St. Peter's Square on Feb. 6 for the Sunday Angelus prayer. Many of those in attendance were members of different Catholic associations for the defense of life and the family. Some had brought large green balloons that flew overhead to mark Italy's national "Day for Life."

In his address before the prayer, the Pope spoke about Christ's words from the day's Gospel which he refers to the disciples as the "salt of the Earth" and "the light of the world."

Christ sought to transmit a sense of mission and witness to the disciples through this image, he explained. In their culture, salt evoked values such as alliance, solidarity, life and wisdom.

Light, on the other hand, was "the first work of God the Creator and the source of life. The very Word of God is compared to light, as proclaimed by the psalmist: 'Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path'," said the Pope.

Sunday's first reading from the Book of Isaiah also refers to light rising up from the darkness when one assists the hungry and satisfies "the afflicted soul."

"Wisdom," said Pope Benedict "sums itself up in the beneficial effects of salt and light. In fact, the disciples of the Lord are called to donate new 'flavor' to the world, and to preserve it from corruption, with the wisdom of God, who shines fully on the face of his Son, because He is the 'true light, which enlightens everyone'."

"United to Him, Christians can spread the light of the love of God, the true wisdom that gives meaning to the existence and action of men, in the midst of the darkness of indifference and selfishness."

The Pope made an appeal for the dignity of sick persons as the World Day for the Sick approaches. "The Lord takes care of man in every situation, he shares in suffering and opens hearts to hope," he said.

He exhorted all who work in health care to see the sick "not only a body marked by fragility, but first of all a person, to which to give all solidarity and offer adequate and competent answers."

The day for the sick is celebrated worldwide on Feb. 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

For the Italian Day for Life, the Pope also called every person to "put at the center, in every circumstance, the value of the human being."

He concluded with the prayer that “parents, grandparents, teachers, priests and all who are dedicated to education might form the young generations to wisdom of heart, so that they might reach the fullness of life.”

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