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Papal Reflection After Way of the Cross

"Our God Is Not a Distant God"

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 8, 2007 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of Benedict XVI's remarks at the conclusion of the Way of the Cross, celebrated at the Colosseum on Good Friday.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Following Jesus along the way of his passion we see not only Jesus' passion but we see all those who are suffering in the world. And this is the profound intention of the prayer of the Way of the Cross, to open our hearts, to help us to see with the heart.

The Fathers of the Church considered the greatest sin of the pagan world to be their insensitivity, their hardness of heart, and they loved the prophesy of the prophet Ezekiel: "I will take away your heart of stone and will give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26).

Converting to Christ, becoming Christian, meant receiving a heart of flesh, a heart sensitive to the passion and the suffering of others. Our God is not a distant God, untouchable in his blessedness. Our God has a heart, indeed a heart of flesh. He became flesh precisely to suffer with us and to be with us in our sufferings. He became man to give us a heart of flesh and to awaken in us a love for those who suffer, for those in need.

Let us pray to the Lord in this hour for all those in the world who are suffering, let us pray to the Lord that he truly give us a heart of flesh, that he make us messengers of his love not only with words but with our entire life.
Amen.

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