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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Time passes, but God’s love endures, pope says as 2018 ends

The end of one year and beginning of next naturally leads people to think about the passing of time and about love, which gives time – and everything else – real meaning, Pope Francis said.

To mark the end of 2018, Pope Francis led an evening prayer service on 31st December in St Peter’s Basilica. The service included the singing of the Te Deum (We praise you, oh God) in thanksgiving for the blessings of the past year, as well as Eucharistic adoration and benediction.

In his brief homily during the service, the pope focused on two lines from Galatians 4: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.”

The lines, he said, are a “synthesis of the New Testament” and give “meaning to a critical moment like the passing of a year.”

The time when one year ends and a new one begins makes many people “feel the need for something that fills the passing of time with meaning. Something, or better, someone,” he said.

Picture: Pope Francis participates in a prayer service on New Year’s Eve in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).