On the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, Benedict XVI emphasizes the core of the Christian message, that God is love. There is a greeting too for the Eucharistic Congress of the Italian Church which started last night in Bari.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) In the Year of the Eucharist, there is a need to rediscover Sunday as a feast day of encounter with the Eucharist, with "He who gives sense to the joys and cares of each day". Benedict XVI underlined the urgency with which Christians should "gather around Christ", just when the Italian Church launched a national Eucharistic Congress in Bari. Next Sunday, the pope will celebrate Mass in Bari to close the congress.
St Peter's Square was packed with pilgrims.
In presenting the Angelus prayer, the pope also greeted "all children, adolescents and youths who are receiving their first Holy Communion or the sacrament of Confirmation at this time.
Here is the text of the pope's address before the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters!
Today the liturgy celebrates the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, virtually emphasizing that in the light of the paschal mystery is fully revealed the centre of the universe and history: God himself, eternal and infinite Love. The word which sums up all revelation is this: "God is love" (1 John 4, 8-16); and love is always a mystery, a reality which surpasses reason without contradicting it, exalting its potential. Jesus revealed to us the mystery of God: He, the Son, made known to us the Father who is in the Heavens, and he gave us the Holy Spirit, the Love of the Father and of the Son. Christian theology summarizes the truth about God with this expression: one substance in three persons. God is not solitude but perfect communion. Thanks to this, the human being, image of God, is realized in love, which is a sincere gift of himself.
We contemplate the mystery of the love of God shared in a sublime manner in the Most Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, representation of his redeeming Sacrifice. Thus on today's feast of the Most Holy Trinity, I am happy to extend my greetings to participants of the Eucharistic Congress of the Italian Church, which started yesterday in Bari. In the heart of this year dedicated to the Eucharist, Christian people come together around Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament, source and apex of His life and of His mission. In particular, each parish is called to rediscover the beauty of Sunday, the day of the Lord, when Christ's disciples renewed in the Eucharist their communion with Him who gives sense to the joys and fatigues of each day. "Without Sunday we cannot live": this is what the first Christians declared, even at the cost of their life, and this is what we are called to repeat ourselves today.
In anticipation of going in person to Bari this coming Sunday for the Eucharistic Celebration, I am already spiritually united with this important ecclesial event. Let us invoke together the intercession of the Virgin Mary, so that days of such intense prayer and adoration of Christ in the Eucharist may kindle a renewed ardour of faith, hope and charity in the Italian Church. To Mary I also want to entrust all children, adolescents and youths who at this time are receiving their first Holy Communion or the sacrament of Confirmation. With this intention, let us now recite the Angelus, reliving with Mary the mystery of the Annunciation.