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Town Hall, 29 November 1986

Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of this City of Adelaide,
Dear Friends,

1. With friendship and esteem, I greet you, the people of Adelaide and South Australia. You have welcomed me with candles and lights. I thank you for this most cordial reception.

The lighted candles which you hold and the candles of the Advent wreath are symbols of Jesus Christ, who is for ever the Light of the world. In the Advent season which we begin this evening, the Church recalls the great mystery of the Incarnation. The beloved Son of the Father, the eternal Word of God, became man in the womb of the Virgin Mary. God has taken on our humanity. The Eternal Light of Truth has entered the darkness of our world, conquering sin and death. This is the mystery we celebrate in Advent as we look forward in hope to the final coming of Christ in glory.

2. But looking forward to Christ’s final coming does not make us close our eyes to the violence, injustice and divisions that are part of our modern world. In the light of truth, we see them clearly. Indeed the closer we draw to Christ and the better we come to know his goodness and love, the more sensitive we become to what is not good and not true, to what belongs to the kingdom of darkness, to the realm of "the father of lies", as Jesus calls the devil, and the more we are repelled by this evil.

Our hope that we shall overcome the darkness of evil is renewed in the Advent season when we listen again to God’s promise to redeem the world from sin. The word of God sustains our faith and gives us courage to seek the causes of violence and injustice, to identify the roots of evil and to find appropriate remedies. God’s word helps us not to despair, no matter what obstacles we meet. No, in the preaching of John the Baptist, in the consent of the Virgin Mary, and above all in the Child born in a stable, our Advent faith is enkindled, our trust in God is confirmed.

3. May we always have in our hearts the burning light of faith, faith in Christ as the Light of the world and the Prince of Peace. Let the lights of this night, especially this Advent Candle, prove to the whole of Australia and to the entire world how much we love Christ and how much we desire peace.

In the warmth and splendour of this light, we find the strength to work for peace. We hear the invitation of Jesus to be peacemakers in our homes and schools, in our workplaces, neighbourhoods and districts. The light of Christ has come into the world and it shall never be put out. This is the foundation of our hope. This is why we firmly believe that peace is possible.

May the light of Christ ever shine brightly in your hearts!

God bless all the people of Adelaide and South Australia!

May God bless the world with his peace!


© Copyright 1986 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana