(AsiaNews) - The Church - which is the work of Christ, "never regresses,
but always progresses" - "we are all responsible, we are all
co-responsible" and this should lead to us "being united and open at
the same time, missionaries" , as were the Apostles. Taking
a cue from today's Gospel, Benedict XVI dedicated today's Angelus and his
homily at Mass celebrated in Frascati to mission in the Church, in the
footsteps of the apostles who were first "sent-out" by Jesus. The Pope returned to his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo from the small Lazio town to pray the
as he said, smiling at those who were waiting in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace.
Following what Jesus told the apostles, during the Mass the Pope said those who proclaim the word of Christ, "must not be attached to money and comforts," should not be upset if they do "not always receive a favorable welcome: sometimes they will be rejected; indeed, even persecuted" but they should "preach justice even against the applause, even against human power ". They can not " be content to preach conversion, their preaching must be accompanied, according to the instructions and example given by Jesus, by the healing of the sick. The Apostolic mission must always include both aspects of preaching the word of God and the manifestation of His goodness with acts of charity, service and dedication.. "
And if they are rejected in some places "in this case they must go elsewhere, after having carried out the gesture of shaking the dust from their feet in front of the people, a sign that expresses detachment in two senses: moral detachment - as if to say: the announcement was given to you, you are the ones who refuse it - and material detachment - we did not and do not want anything for ourselves ."
" The Lord calls us all, distributing different gifts for different tasks in the Church. He calls us to the priesthood and consecrated life, and He calls us to marriage and commitment as lay people within the Church and in society. What is important is that the wealth of these gifts is fully welcomed, especially by young people: that they may feel the joy of responding to God with their whole heart, gifting it on the path of priesthood and consecrated life or on the path of marriage, two complementary paths that illuminate each other, enrich each other and together enrich the community. Virginity for the Kingdom of God and marriage are both vocations, calls by God to be answered with and for our entire life. God calls: we need to listen, welcome, respond. Like Mary: Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word ".
"The Lord bountifully sows his gifts, he calls you to follow Him and to extend His mission today." Recalling that the Year of Faith will begin in the Fall and , "50 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council", the Pope invited the faithful to "re-read and deepen" their familiarity with the Council documents that "contain an enormous wealth for the formation of new generations of Christians. "
After the Angelus, addressing a greeting in French, Benedict XVI said that the vacation period "may be a good time for everyone to reflect on his or her life and open their heart to others and to God. I ask you - he concluded - to also be attentive to all those who suffer from loneliness and abandonment, whether in the streets, in their homes, in hospitals or nursing homes. Do not hesitate to go and visit them".