‘Jesus came into the world to bring the sheep back,’ says the Holy Father
‘Jesus came into the world to bring the sheep back,’ says the Holy Father
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Over 100 thousand people filled St. Peter's Square with tremendous enthusiasm to pray with Pope Benedict XVI at noon today. Tens of thousands of members of the Italian Catholic Action league came from all parts of Italy to meet the Vicar of Christ on the occasion of its 140th anniversary.

Before reciting the Regina Coeli prayer, Pope Benedict likened the enthusiasm of the crowd to an "open air upper room" where the disciples waited and prayed with Mary in the days leading up to Pentecost. Today is celebrated as the feast of the Ascension in several countries, including Italy.

The Pope spoke about the Ascension of Jesus who, he said, "came into the world to bring man to God, not as a philosopher or a master of wisdom - but really, as pastor who wants to bring the sheep back."

"God in man, man in God: This is not merely a theoretical truth, but is real. So the Christian hope, founded in Christ, is not an illusion but, as stated in the Letter to the Hebrews' is the "anchor of our lives' (cf Heb 6:19), an anchor that penetrates Heaven where Christ has gone before us."

The Pope then turned his thoughts to Mary, whose presence in our midst he said, is part of the "solid anchoring" for our existence.

"Turning our gaze to you, like the first disciples, we are immediately brought back to the reality of Jesus: the Mother refers to the Son, who is no longer physically among us, but awaits us in the house of the Father. Jesus invites us not to stay to look up, but to stand together united in prayer, to invoke the gift of the Holy Spirit. Only, in fact, to the one who "is born again from above", by the Spirit of God, is the gate of the kingdom of heaven open. (cf Jn3:3-5); and the first "reborn from above" is the Virgin Mary. To her, therefore, we turn in the fullness of Easter joy."

At the end of the Regina Coeli began the meeting with the Catholic Action League.
Benedict XVI called on members of the Catholic Action league to witness holiness in the world by remaining true to the deep roots of faith, adhering fully to the Word of God, by unconditional love for the Church, and participating with vigilance in civic life.

He urged members of the group to respond "generously to this call to holiness", in keeping with the appropriate vocation as lay people, and to "to serve selflessly the cause of the common good, for the building of a just ordering of society and the State."

In his final exhortation before imparting his apostolic blessing, the Pope again called on all present to be "courageous witnesses" in confronting the "relativistic, hedonistic and consumerist mindset" of society, to "respond without fear, always trusting in the mercy of God," to the call of the Church, who "calls people to a point of heroism of holiness."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30