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Pope sums up main themes as Synod of Bishops closes

At the closing Mass on Sunday, the Pope said the day's Gospel story of Blind Bartimaeus was a perfect model for the New Evangelization.

  • By Matthew A. Rarey and Carl Bunderson
  • Vatican City
  • October 30, 2012
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At a Mass on Sunday closing the bishops' synod on the new evangelization, the Pope reflected on the need for faith in overcoming spiritual blindness and also appealed on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Drawing from the day's Gospel of Mark reading, the Pope noted that Christ curing the blind man Bartimaeus “is the last miraculous healing that Jesus performs before his Passion, and it is no accident that it should be that of a blind person, someone whose eyes have lost the light.

”??Pope Benedict noted that physical blindness “has great significance in the Gospels” because it “represents man who needs God’s light, the light of faith, if he is to know reality truly and to walk the path of life.”

“It is essential to acknowledge one’s blindness, one’s need for this light, otherwise one could remain blind for ever.”

The blind Bartimaeus represents mankind, the Pope went on to say, because he “represents man who has lost the light and knows it, but has not lost hope.”??Pope Benedict made his remarks at the close of the Oct. 7 - 28 synod on the new evangelization in Rome, which gathered bishops from the world over to Rome to discuss the transmission of the Christian faith in the modern world.

The synod “meaningfully coincided” with the opening of the Year of Faith and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, the Pope said.

Synod fathers have released a document of 58 propositions about the new evangelization. Pope Benedict will review the findings of the synod and will write a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, after considering their propositions.

During his homily, the pontiff said that Sunday's Gospel reading directly applies to the recent synod,  and highlight three themes that emerged from the event.??“The first concerns the Sacraments of Christian initiation. It has been reaffirmed that appropriate catechesis must accompany preparation for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist,” he said. “The importance of Confession, the Sacrament of God’s mercy, has also been emphasized.

”??Secondly, “the Church’s task is to evangelize, to proclaim the message of salvation to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ.”

“A third aspect concerns the baptized whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism...Such people are found in all continents, especially in the most secularized countries.”

“The Church is particularly concerned that they should encounter Jesus Christ anew, rediscover the joy of faith and return to religious practice in the community of the faithful.”

The Pope then encouraged all the faithful to embrace full sight in Christ, putting away “all blindness to the truth, all ignorance and, removing the darkness that obscures our vision like fog before the eyes, let us contemplate the true God.”

He also pointed out that while many lands need to be re-evangelized, this is “essentially linked to the Missio ad Gentes” and that there are “still many regions in Africa, Asia and Oceania whose inhabitants await with lively expectations” the first proclamation of the Gospel.

Full Story: Faith overcomes spiritual blindness, Pope says at synod close

Source: Catholic News Agency
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