Tuesday, December 22, 2009
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 22, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican spokesman is expressing the hope that this Christmas will bring a new gift to Bethlehem: freedom from the divisions among Christians.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, stated this in his latest edition of "Octava Dies," in which he reflected on Benedict XVI's May 13 visit to the city of Christ's birth.
The priest also noted that on Monday, in an address to the Roman Curia, the Pope spoke about how his visit enabled him to see the "suffering and the hopes present" in the Holy Land.
"Everything that one can see in those countries calls for reconciliation, justice and peace," the Pontiff told the curia.
Father Lombardi recalled the "festive celebration of the Mass," celebrated by the Holy Father in Manger Square, which was "overflowing."
Even though it took place in a very different context from the Bethlehem of 2,000 years ago, he said, "the Eucharist continues being the moment in which the mystery of the real presence of Jesus with us is relived."
However, the spokesman added, it is hard to ignore the presence of the walls around the city. Thus, he said, it is with good reason that Benedict XVI, upon leaving, stated: "We all know that the walls do not last forever. They can be taken down.