Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pope Benedict on Today's Gospel

From Asia News Italy:

“Even today we want to proclaim this with innermost conviction,” said the Pontiff. “Yes, Jesus, you are Christ, the Son of the Living God! We are aware that Christ is the true ‘treasure’ for whom it is worth sacrificing all. He is the friend who never abandons us for he knows the innermost expectations of our heart. Jesus is the ‘Son of the Living God’, the promised Messiah, who came on earth to offer humanity salvation and satisfy the thirst for life and love that dwells in every human being. What advantages would humanity get if it welcomed the announcement that brings with it joy and peace!”

Following the Apostle’s confession of faith Jesus conferred upon Peter his mandate (And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.).

“It is the first time that Jesus spoke about the Church whose mission is to implement God’s grandiose plan to unite in Christ the whole of humanity as a single family. Peter’s mission, and that of his successors, is to serve the one and only Church of God, which includes Jews and pagans. Its indispensable ministry is to ensure that it does not identify with any one nation or culture, but that it is a Church for all peoples, so as to make present among people, who suffer from countless divisions and contrasts, God’s peace and the renewing strength of his love. It must therefore serve the inner unity that comes from God’s peace, the unity of those who have become brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. This is the unique mission that falls upon the Pope, Bishop of Rome, Successor of Peter.

Lastly “before the huge responsibility of this task I feel ever more the importance and the duty of serving the Church and the world that God placed in me. For this reason I call upon you, dear brothers and sisters, to help me with your prayers so that, faithful to Christ, we can together announce and bear witness to his presence in our times. May Mary enable us to obtain this grace! We call upon her, full of trust, as the Mother of the Church and the Star of Evangelisation.”

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