"Sowing the Joy of the Gospel in the World"
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 27, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the greeting Benedict XVI gave today before praying the Regina Caeli with several thousand people gathered in St. Peter's Square.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters,
A few moments ago we concluded a celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica in which I ordained 29 new priests. This is a time every year of special grace and festivity: The lifeblood of the Church and society has been renewed and recirculated in them. If the presence of priests is indispensable for the life of the Church, it is also something precious for all.
In the Acts of the Apostles one reads that the Deacon Philip brought the Gospel to a city of Samaria; the people adhered to his preaching with enthusiasm and also saw the miracles that he worked for the sick; “and there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:8). As I reminded the new presbyters in the course of the liturgical celebration, this is the meaning of the Church’s missions and particularly the mission of priests: Sowing the joy of the Gospel in the world!
Where Christ is preached with the power of the Holy Spirit and he is accepted with an open soul, society, though it be full of problems, becomes a “city of joy” -- which is also the title of a book about the work of Mother Teresa in Calcutta. This then is the wish I have for the newly ordained priests, for whom I invite all to pray: That where they are sent they may spread the joy and hope that flow from the Gospel.
In truth this is also the message that I brought last week to the United States of America, on an apostolic voyage that had these words as its motto: “Christ our hope.” I give thanks to God for abundantly blessing this singular missionary experience of mine and deigning to make me an instrument of the hope of Christ for that Church and that country. At the same time I thank God because I too was confirmed in hope by American Catholics: Indeed, I discovered a tremendous vitality and a decisive will to live and to witness to the faith in Jesus. Next Wednesday, during the general audience, I will speak more about this visit of mine to America.
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