Firm Foundation of the Word

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 6, 2008 ( The current economic crisis shows the importance of building our lives on the firm foundation of the Word, Benedict XVI affirmed on the first day of the synod of bishops.

The Pope said this today as he offered a meditation to the 244 synod fathers gathered for the first full day of the assembly on the word of God in the life and mission of the Church.

“We see it now in the fall of the great banks,” the Holy Father said. “This money disappears; it is nothing — and in the same way, all these things, which lack a true reality to depend on, and are elements of a second order. The word of God is the basis of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realists, we should count on this reality.”

“We should change our idea that matter, solid things, things we touch, are the most solid and secure reality,” the Pontiff continued. He noted how Jesus spoke of the two possibilities of building a house on the sand or on a firm rock.

“He who builds only on things that are visible and tangible, on success, a career, money — he is building on sand,” he said. “Apparently these are the true realities, but one day they will pass away.”

Built on sand

The Bishop of Rome continued: “And in this way, all these things that do not have a true reality to count on. […] He who builds his house on these realities, on material things, on success, on everything that seems to be, builds on sand.

“Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality; it is stable like the heavens and more than the heavens. It is the reality. Therefore we should change our concept of realism. The realist is he who recognizes in the Word of God, in this reality apparently so fragile, the basis of everything.”

Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, afterward told the press that the Pope had invited his listeners to see economy and finances as a “penultimate reality.”

“It is undeniable that other realities, when they are compared to the Word, reveal their limits,” he explained. “They are truly penultimate, but not the final truth.

“The heart of the topic that the Pope addressed is not the current economic situation, but the importance of the Word of God in the path of man. And from this light, other dimensions are like clouds that show their flimsiness.”

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