Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pope Asks For Prayers For His Trip


From Papa Ratzi, here is the Pope's Sunday Angelus message.

On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe. The Gospel today recounts the dramatic interrogation to which Pontius Pilate subjected Jesus when He was sent to him with the accusation of having usurped the title "King of the Jews." To the questions of the Roman governor, Jesus responded that yes, He was king, but not of this world (cfr Jn 18,36). He did not come to lord over people and territories, but to liberate men from the slavery of sin and reconcile them with God. He added: "For this I was born, and for this I came to the world: to render testimony to the truth. Wheobver is for truth hears My voice." (Jn 18,37)

But what is the 'truth' that Christ came to bear witness to in the world? His whole existence reveals that God is love. This is the truth that He bore full witness to with the sacrifice of His own life on Calvary. The Cross is the throne from which the sublime reality of God-Love was manifested: offering Himself in expiation for the sins of the world, He defeated the dominion of the "prince of this world" (Jn 12,31) and installed definitively the Kingdom of God.

A kingdom which will be manifested in its fullness at the end of time, after all enemies, including death, will have been subjugated (cfr 1 Cor 15,25-26).At that
time, the Son will render the Kingdom to the Father and finally God will be 'all in all" (1 Cor 15,28). The road to this goal is long and will not permit shortcuts. It requires that every person freely welcome the truth of God's love.

He is love and truth, and neither love nor truth can ever be imposed: they knock
on the door of our mind and heart, and where they can enter, they bring peace and joy. This is how God reigns. This is His plan of salvation, a 'mystery' in the Biblical sense of the word, that is, a design that reveals itself slowly over time. The Virgin Mary has been associated most singularly with the Kingship of Christ. God asked her, a humble girl from Nazareth, to be the Mother of the Messiah, and Mary responded to this call with her whole being, joining her unconditional Yes to that of her Son Jesus and making herself, like Him, obedient to the point of sacrifice. For this, God exalted her beyond every other creature and Christ crowned her Queen of Heaven and Earth. To her intercession, we entrust the Church and all humanity, so that the love of God may reign in all hearts and His plan for love and peace may be fulfilled.

After the Angelus, the Pope spoke in Italian about his coming trip to Turkey:

Dear brothers and sisters, as you know, in the coming days, I will be visiting Turkey. I wish to send my cordial greeting to the dear people of Turkey, so rich in history and culture. To them and to their representatives, I express my feelings of respect and sincere friendship. With much emotion I look forward to meeting the small Catholic community there, which is always in my heart, and to unite myself fraternally with the Orthodox Church on the occasion of the feast of the Apostle St. Andrew.

I confidently follow in the footsteps of my venerated predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II, and I invoke the heavenly protection of the blessed John XXIII who was for ten years the Apostolic Delegate to Turkey and nourished affection and esteem for that nation. I ask you all to accompany me with prayer that this pilgrimage may bring all the fruits that God desires.


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