08/07/2005, 00.00
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Pope: Youths in Cologne; worshipping Jesus is still up to date

Benedict XVI invites all the Church to prepare for World Youth Day. He also joins in the sorrow of victims of the airline disaster in Capo Gallo and their families.

Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) – Worship – especially "worshipping Jesus" – by no means belongs to the past, it is not something "without sense for contemporary man". On the contrary, "only by worshipping and loving God above everything can man fully realize himself". In his second Angelus from Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI, appears to have launched a special teaching to prepare youths headed for Cologne, and likewise all Christians.

The pope said: "Thousands of youths are about to leave for or are already traveling towards Cologne for the XX World Youth Day which, as you know, has the theme "We have come to worship him". One could say that all the Church has mobilised spiritually to live this extraordinary event, looking to the Magi as singular models of those searching for Christ, before Who they bent their knees in adoration".

Benedict XVI is categorical: worship is not an activity which belongs to "other times". He continues: "A well-known prayer recited by many in the morning and at night starts precisely with these words: I adore you my God, I love you with all my heart… at dawn and sunset, the believer daily renews his worship, that is, his recognition of the presence of God, creator and lord of the universe; an awareness full of gratitude coming from the depths of the heart and pervading all one's being. For it is only by worshipping and loving God above everything that man can fully realize himself. The Magi worshipped the Child of Bethlehem, recognizing in Him the promised Messiah, the only-begotten Son of the Father in whom, as St Paul affirms, 'the fullness of divinity is embodied'."

The pope then recalled the experience of the disciples Peter, James and John on Mount Tabor (the feast of the Transfiguration was celebrated yesterday 6 August) and of many saints who worshipped Jesus and his "victory over death".

"The saints became true worshippers of the living God, loving him without reservation in every moment of their life," said the pope.

The pope then expressed hope that youths will rediscover this holiness in Cologne and take it to all the world's youths, helped by the example of Mary: "May She help especially new generations to recognize in Christ the true face of God, to worship, love and serve Him with total dedication".

After the Angelus prayer and before giving customary greetings, Benedict XVI added: "I wish to express my condolences to the relatives of victims of yesterday's airline tragedy in southern Italy. I pray for the victims and for the wounded, most of who came from Bari and whereabouts. I join in the mourning of families and the entire church and civil community of this city, which I visited recently for the national Eucharistic Congress. May the dead and resurrected Christ instill in all comfort and hope."

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