“To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God.” Pope Francis (excerpt from Inaugural Mass Homily)
Pope Celebrates Inaugural Mass – WSJ.com.VATICAN CITY—The Catholic Church’s first New World pontiff formally began his ministry Tuesday with a call for politicians, priests and others in positions of power to protect society’s weakest and poorest members.
Standing on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis told a group of heads of state, among a crowd of tens of thousands gathered for his inaugural Mass, that secular and religious leaders must act as “custodians” for “every creation of God.”
The new pope, an Argentine Jesuit elected last week to lead the scandal-tarnished church, has moved swiftly to set a more humble tone for the papacy, departing from some of the customary pomp and fueling hopes for change in Rome.
A Papacy Begins
Tuesday’s Mass, a deeply symbolic event watched closely by the clergy as well as those in the pews, signaled Pope Francis’ intention to focus on serving the disadvantaged—as well as his desire to readjust the priorities of the church hierarchy.
“I’d like to ask, please, to anyone who is in charge of the economy, politics, society—to all men and women of good will—let’s be custodians of creation and of the design of God inscribed in nature—custodian of others and of the environment,” the pope said.
“The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe,” Benedict said on the day of the Epiphany, where the Bible says the three kings arrived at the birthplace of Jesus, Reuters reports.
“Contemplating it (the universe), we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” he added in a sermon at St. Peter’s Basilica.
“Many scientists believe the Big Bang created the universe 13.7 billion years ago. Although the pope has previously spoken about evolution, he has rarely discussed scientific concepts such as this one.”
The Holy Father has announced a worldwide vigil of prayer for unborn children. On Saturday evening, November 27, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome the Holy Father will begin the season of Advent. He will lift up in prayer all the children living in the womb, and call God’s protection on them.
Please join Pope BenedictXVI in prayer. He has invited all the bishops of the world to join him. The Advent prayer may be prayed as a Novena or through the season of Advent:
Advent Prayer for LIfe
God of Life,
We rejoice in the promise of your coming.
You have sent your Son, born in Bethlehem.
He is the Prince of Peace, and
The one in whose name all oppression shall cease.
May we welcome his coming each day
And prepare for his coming at the end of time.
May we build a culture that welcomes him
By welcoming every child, born and unborn.
We pray through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.