VATICAN CITY, MAY 27, 2001 ( A Christian´s commitment is not exhausted at the social, cultural and political levels -- it also has a transcendent dimension, John Paul II said today.

Appearing at the window of his study, the Pontiff reminded the 10,000 faithful gathered in St. Peter´s Square that Christ´s victory over death has enabled Christians to be "at the same time citizens of earth and heaven."

The Holy Father was commenting on the significance of the feast of Jesus´ ascension into heaven, which in Italy and other countries was moved to this Sunday, for reasons connected with the labor calendar.

"Christ has become the bridge between heaven and earth," the Pope said. "He is the mediator between God and man, between the kingdom of heaven and the history of the world. United to him in his same Spirit, believers form a new community, the Church, whose nature is at the same time visible and spiritual, a pilgrim in the world and participant of heavenly glory."