.- Christians shouldn’t be afraid to call upon the name of Jesus Christ for help at all stages of their lives, Pope Benedict XVI said in his Sunday Angelus address on Aug. 14.
“Dear friends, we too are called to grow in faith, to reach out and to receive freely the gift of God, to trust in Jesus and cry out, ‘Give us the faith, help us find our way’,” the Pope told pilgrims gathered at his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, 15 miles south of Rome.
Pope Benedict said that this trust in Christ was personified in today’s Gospel reading in which a pagan Canaanite woman, despite not being Jewish, beseeched Jesus to cure her daughter who was possessed by a demon.
God responds to such a faithful cry “not as some faceless and nameless abstract” but as “a person who wants to enter into a relationship of deep love with us,” with that person being Jesus Christ himself.
“Faith opens us to know and accept the true identity of Jesus, its novelty and uniqueness, his Word as a source of life, to live a personal relationship with Him,” said the Pope.
This acceptance of Jesus requires a daily “experience of conversion” where “every day we feed our faith” by “listening to the Word of God, with the celebration of the Sacraments, with personal prayer as a ‘cry’ to Him and with charity towards our neighbor.”
After praying the Angelus with pilgrims, the Pope asked all present to pray for the success of World Youth Day, which begins this Tuesday in Madrid. In particular he welcomed Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana who is leading a group of young pilgrims from Cuba to WYD for the first time ever.
Finally, the Pope reminded pilgrims that Sunday marks the 70th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish priest executed in the Nazi camp at Auschwitz.
“His heroic love is a shining example of successful presence of God in the human drama of hatred, suffering and death.”