The Holy Father greeted the members of the delegation while noting that timeliness of their visit on the eve of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Pope commented on the theme of the upcoming Week of Prayer: "What does God require of us?" which is taken from the prophet Micah.
"The Prophet makes clear, of course, what the Lord requires of us: it is "to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God". The Christmas season which we have just celebrated reminds us that it is God who from the beginning has walked with us, and who, in the fullness of time, took flesh in order to save us from our sins and to guide our steps in the way of holiness, justice and peace," the Pope said.
"Walking humbly in the presence of the Lord, in obedience to his saving word and with trust in his gracious plan, serves as an eloquent image not only of the life of faith, but also of our ecumenical journey on the path towards the full and visible unity of all Christians."
The Supreme Pontiff said that in order to move forward in ways of ecumenical communion, it is ever more crucial to be united in prayer, to be committed to the pursuit of holiness, "and ever more engaged in the areas of theological research and cooperation in the service of a just and fraternal society."
Expressing his hope that the delegations visit to Rome would help strengthen ecumenical ties between Christians in Finland, Pope Benedict prayed that Christ would guide Finnish Christians towards greater love and unity.
"By walking together in humility along the path of justice, mercy and righteousness which the Lord has pointed out to us, Christians will not only dwell in the truth, but also be beacons of joy and hope to all those who are looking for a sure point of reference in our rapidly changing world," Pope Benedict XVI said.
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On ZENIT's webpage:
For the full text of the Holy Father's address, go to: http://www.zenit.org/article-36357?l=english