Yesterday, His Holiness resumed his Wednesday Catecheses on the Church, continuing his look at the Twelve Apostles.
The Holy Father resumed his reflections on the person of the Apostle John, author of the Gospel and Letters of the same name and the Book of Revelation.
Pope Benedixt reminded the faithful that the Book of Revelation "must be understood in the context of the dramatic experience of the seven Churches of Asia ... which toward the end of the first century had to face great difficulties - persecutions and even internal difficulties - in their witnessing to Christ."
John's objective, he said, "is to unveil, from the death resurrection of Christ, the meaning of human history... With this, John wants to tell us two things above all: The first is that Jesus, though he was killed with an act of violence, instead of lying fallen on the ground remains paradoxically standing firmly on his feet, because with the resurrection he has vanquished death definitively. The second is that Jesus himself, precisely because he died and resurrected, now participates fully in the royal and salvific power of the Father. This is the fundamental vision."
In reading the Book of Revelation, "we are before the typical Christian paradox," said the Holy Father, "according to which, suffering is never perceived as the last word; rather it is seen as a passing moment to happiness and, what is more, the latter is already mysteriously permeated with the joy that springs from hope."
With stirring words, the Bishop of Rome suggested that the Apostle encourages us, saying, "Have confidence in Jesus, do not be afraid of opposing powers, of persecution! The wounded and dead Lamb conquers! Follow Jesus, the Lamb, trust Jesus, follow his way! Even if in this world he seems to be the weak Lamb, he is the victor!"
Not forgetting the difficult situation of today's Christians, among others, in the Middle East, the Pontiff concluding his address praying with the Apostle: "Come, Jesus! Come and transform the world! Come now, today, and may peace conquer!" Amen.