Pope Benedict XVI- Angelus

On Following Christ
"One of the Most Beautiful Experiences"
H.H. Benedict XVI
June 27, 2010


Dear brothers and sisters!

The biblical readings of this Sunday’s Holy Mass give me the opportunity to take up again the theme of Christ’s call and its demands, a theme which I also reflected on a week ago on the occasion of the ordination of new presbyters of the Diocese of Rome. In fact, whoever has the fortune to know a young man or young woman who leaves their family, their studies or work to consecrate himself or herself to God, knows this well, because he has before him a living example of radical response to the divine calling. This is one of the most beautiful experiences that one has in the Church: seeing the Lord’s action in people’s lives, touching it with one’s hand; experiencing that God is not an abstract entity, but a Reality so great and powerful that he can fill man’s heart in a super-abundant way. He is a Person who is alive and near, who loves us and asks us to love him.

The evangelist Luke presents us with Jesus as he is on the road to Jerusalem and meets some men, probably young men, who promise to follow him wherever he goes. He shows himself to be very exigent with them, informing them that “the Son of man” -- Jesus himself, the Messiah -- “has no place to lay his head,” that is, he does not have his own stable place to live, and that whoever chooses to work with him in God’s field cannot change his mind (cf. Luke 9:57-58, 61-62). To another Christ himself says: “Follow me,” asking him to completely sever his familial bonds (Luke 9:59-60). These demands might appear too harsh, but in reality they express the newness and absolute priority of the Kingdom of God that is made present in the Person himself of Jesus Christ. In the final analysis it is the radicality that is owed to the Love of God, whom Jesus is the first to obey. Whoever renounces everything, even himself, to follow Jesus, enters into a new dimension of freedom that St. Paul defines as “walking according to the Spirit” (cf. Galatians 5:16). “Christ has freed us for freedom!” the Apostle writes, and explains that this new form of freedom acquired for us by Christ consists in being “in the service of each other” (Galatians 5:1, 13). Freedom and love coincide! Obeying one’s own egoism, on the contrary, leads to rivalry and conflict.

Dear friends, the month of June, characterized by devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ, is already coming to an end. Indeed on the feast of the Sacred Heart we renewed our commitment to sanctification together with the priests of the whole world. Today I would like to invite everyone to contemplate the divine-human heart of the Lord Jesus, to draw from the source itself of God’s Love. Whoever fixes his gaze upon that pierced Heart that is always open out of love for us, senses the truth of this invocation: “Lord, you are my only good” (Responsorial Psalm), and is ready to leave everything to follow the Lord. O Mary, who answered the divine call without holding anything back, pray for us!

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

[After the Angelus the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In Italian, he said:]

In Lebanon this morning, Estéphan Nehmé, born Joseph Nehmé, was proclaimed blessed. He was a religious of the Lebanese Maronite Order, who lived in Lebanon between the end of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. I heartily rejoice with the Lebanese brothers and sisters, and I entrust them with great affection to the protection of the new Blessed.

On this Sunday that precedes the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, there is observed in Italy and elsewhere the Day of Charity of the Pope. I express my lively gratitude to those who, with prayers and offerings, support the apostolic and charitable activity of the Successor of Peter on behalf of the universal Church and of many brothers both near and far.

[In English he said:]

I extend cordial greetings to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for today’s Angelus. On Tuesday of this week we will be celebrating Rome’s feast-day, that is to say, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul -- two great Apostles who proclaimed the Gospel in this city and bore witness to Christ even to the shedding of their blood. Through their prayers, may all who come on pilgrimage to Rome be renewed and strengthened in faith, hope and love. May God’s abundant blessings come down upon all of you and upon your loved ones at home!

© Copyright 2010 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Look at the One they Pierced!

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