December 20, 2010

Changing the world for the better does not come from leaders making grandiose promises or calling for a violent revolution, Pope Benedict said: It comes from humble individuals who silently carry God’s light and love to everyone around them.

In his homily at a Rome parish Dec. 12, the pope commented on the day’s readings in which John the Baptist sends some messengers to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”

The last two or three centuries have seen many people asking Jesus the same question, wondering if he really is the one who will change the world, the pope said.

“Many prophets, ideologues, and dictators have come and said ‘It is not him. He did not change the world. It is us” who will do so through empires, dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, he said.

Such leaders did change the world, he said, but for the worse, and today “we know that nothing has come out of these great promises other than great emptiness and great destruction.”

Jesus responds to the question, “Are you the one” by pointing to his good deeds of healing and proclaiming the good news, the pope said.