Vatican City, 22 July 2012 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus at midday today, Benedict XVI dedicated some remarks to what he described as "a fundamental and ever enthralling theme of the Bible": the fact that "God is the Pastor of humankind".
Addressing faithful gathered in the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, the Pope explained how this phrase means that "God wants life for us, He wants to guide us to good pastures where we can find nourishment and rest. He does not want us to lose our way and die, but to reach the goal of our journey, which is fullness of life. This is what any mother or father wants for their children: goodness, happiness, fulfilment. In the Gospel Jesus presents Himself as the Pastor of the lost sheep of the House of Israel. His gaze over His people is a 'pastoral' gaze".
"Among the 'lost sheep' whom Jesus saved there was a woman by the name Mary from the village of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee, for which reason she is known as Mary Magdalene. Her feast day falls today. Luke the Evangelist tells us that Jesus freed her from seven demons; in other words, He saved her from utter servitude to the Evil One. And ,in what does this profound healing that God achieves through Jesus consist? It consists in true and complete peace, which is the result of the reconciliation of people in themselves and in all their relations: with God, with others and with the world."In fact", the Pope added, "the Evil One always seeks to destroy the work of God by sowing strife in the human heart, between body and soul, between man and God, in interpersonal, social and international relations, even between man and the creation. The Evil One spreads war; God creates peace".