“Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless you all from my heart?”. At the end of the General Audience on Wednesday morning, 12 December, from a tablet offered to him by four young people, Benedict sent out his first-ever Message via Twitter under his personal Twitter handle: @pontifex, where his followers have already topped the one million mark.
It was an gesture the Pope indirectly explained in the Catechesis when he emphasized that “God has not gone away from the world, he is not absent, but comes to meet our needs in various ways which we must learn to discern”. Among the areas in which we can discern signs of God's presence in the world are also the new instruments that technology makes available for communicaitng, especially among the young.
In his Reflection, wholly focused on the Season of Advent, the Pope started with the premiss that God reveals his face in Jesus of Nazareth and asks human beings to decide to recognize and follow him: “God's revelation of himself in history”, he said in this regard, “in order to begin a dialogue of love with man, gives new meaning to the whole human journey... “thus history is not merely a succession of centuries, but the time span of a presence that is open to sound hope”.
Hence Benedict XVI's invitation, especially in this Year of Faith, to take up the Bible once again and more and more often, to read it and meditate on it and to pay greater attention to the Readings of Sunday Mass”. Moreover, for Christians the word Advent “refers to a marvellous and overwhelming reality: God crossed the threshold of his heaven and came down to man; entering history, he made a covenant with him” Here, then, the liturgical season in preparation for Christmas “reminds us over and over again” of this divine presence in human events; therefore we too, “with our faith, our hope and our charity, are called every day to discern and witness to this presence, in the world that is all too often superficial and distracted”.