Monday, March 3, 2014

Reflections on the Ninth Sunday of
Ordinary Time by Pope Benedict XVI

Entry 0332: Reflections on the Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time 
Pope Benedict XVI  

On one occasion during his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a reflection on the Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time, on 6 March 2011. Here is the text of the brief reflection delivered prior to the recitation of the Angelus.



St Peter’s Square, Sunday, 6 March 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Sunday’s Gospel presents the conclusion of the “Sermon on the Mount”, where the Lord Jesus, through the Parable of the two houses — one built on the rock and the other on sand — invites the disciples to listen to his words and to put them into practice (see Mt 7:24). Thus he places the disciple and his journey of faith in the perspective of the Covenant, constituted by the relationship God weaves with man through the gift of his Word, entering into communication with us.

The Second Vatican Council says: “Invisible God, from the fullness of his love, addresses men as his friends, and moves among them in order to invite and receive them into his own company” (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, no. 2). “In this vision every man and woman appears as someone to whom the Word speaks, challenges and calls to enter this dialogue of love through a free response” (Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Verbum Domini, no. 22).  

Jesus is the living Word of God. When he taught, people recognized in his words the divine authority itself and they felt the Lord’s closeness, his merciful love, and praised God. In every epoch and in every place those who have the grace of knowing God, especially through reading the holy Gospel, are fascinated by him. They recognize that in his preaching, in his actions and in his Person, he reveals the true face of God to us and at the same time reveals us to ourselves. This gives us the joy of being children of the Father who is in Heaven, and points out to us the solid foundation on which to build our life.

Yet human beings often do not build their action and life on this identity; they prefer the sands of ideology, power, success and money, believing they will find in these things stability and the answer to the irrepressible demand for happiness and fullness that they carry in their soul.

And as for us, on what do we wish to build our life? Who can truly respond to the restlessness of the human heart? Christ is the rock of our life! He is the eternal and definitive Word who overcomes every kind of adversity, difficulty or hardship (see Verbum Domini, no. 10).  

May the word of God permeate the whole of our life, thought and action, as the First Reading of today’s Liturgy from the Book of Deuteronomy proclaims: “Therefore take these words of mine into your heart and your soul. Bind them at your wrist as a sign, and let them be a pendant on your forehead” (11:18).  

Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you to make room every day for the word of God, to nourish yourselves with it and to meditate ceaselessly upon it. It is also a precious help and refuge from a superficial activism that may satisfy pride momentarily but ultimately leaves you empty and dissatisfied.  

Let us invoke the help of the Virgin Mary, whose life was marked by fidelity to the Word of God. Let us contemplate her in the Annunciation, at the foot of the Cross, and now, sharing in the glory of the Risen Christ. Like her, let us renew our “yes” and confidently entrust our journey to God. 

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