.- As Pope Benedict's March 23-25 trip to Mexico nears, Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City invited locals to open their hearts to Christ in order to change society for the better.
“The civilization of love is possible, not because of our intelligence or because of some fantasy, but because love has already been poured into our hearts and we need to discover it, experience it and above all bear witness to it inside the Church and in our world,” the cardinal said after celebrating Mass on March 18.
As the country struggles in the throes of increasing violence and drug trafficking, the cardinal told members of the faith that it is “up to us to open the doors and windows so that the true sun of justice, who is Christ Jesus, can enter our world, enter into us and renew the face of the earth and give us a new heart.”
Pope Benedict's highly anticipated visit to the country begins on March 23, when he will arrive in the city of Leon and be officially greeted by President Felipe Calderon, Archbishop José Martín of Leon and representatives of the Mexican bishops' conference.
On March 24 the pontiff will have an official meeting with President Calderon and his delegation at the Conde Rul House, the seat of the Guanajuato state government where Leon is located. He will then greet and bless children and the faithful who are gathered in La Paz square.
On Sunday, March 25, Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass at the municipality of Silao’s Bicentennial Park, at the foot of Cubilete Hill. He will later celebrate vespers at Leon’s cathedral and deliver a message to the bishops of Mexico and other representatives of the bishops’ conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean.