John Paul II Hailed as "Daring" Defender of Christ

Mass Marks Pope’s 4th Anniversary of Death

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 2, 2009 ( Benedict XVI called Pope John Paul II a «bold and daring» defender of Christ who never hesitated to spend all his energy to spread the word of God.

The Pope said this today in his homily at a Mass with the youth of the Diocese of Rome to mark the fourth anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s death. Held at St. Peter’s Basilica, the liturgy formed be part of the World Youth Day celebrations, which this year are being observed on a diocesan level on Palm Sunday.
The Pope affirmed that throughout John Paul II’s life, he «showed himself a bold and daring defender of Christ»: «He did not hesitate to consume all his energies in order to spread the light everywhere.

«He did not accept to give in to compromises when it was a question of proclaiming and defending [Christ’s] truth; he never tired of spreading [Christ’s] love.

«From the beginning of his pontificate until April 2, 2005, he was not afraid to proclaim to all and always that Jesus alone is the Savior and the true Liberator of man and of all men.»
«John Paul II was able to communicate a great amount of hope, founded on faith in Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday and today and for ever,» continued Benedict XVI.

God alone

«Dear young people,» the Pope said, «we cannot live without hope. Experience shows that every thing, and our own life, runs the risk, can collapse for any reason internal or external to us, at any moment.

«It is normal: Everything that is human, hence hope, has no foundation in itself, but needs a ‘rock’ on which to anchor itself.

«This is why Paul wrote that Christians are called to base human hope on the ‘living God.’ He alone is sure and trustworthy.»

The Holy Father added that only God «can be our firm hope. In him, our hope, we have in fact been saved.»
«Pay attention,» the Pontiff warned: «In times such as these, given the cultural and social context in which we live, the risk can be stronger of reducing Christian hope to an ideology, to a group slogan, to an exterior coating.

«There is nothing more contrary to Jesus’ message! He does not want his disciples to ‘recite’ a part of his teaching, perhaps that of hope. He wants them to ‘be’ hope, and they can be so only if they remain united to him!»

Benedict XVI said that each Christian should be «a small source of hope for your neighbor, and to be, all together, an oasis of hope for the society in which you are inserted.»

He said this means that one must be close to Christ through prayer and the sacraments: «If Christ’s words remain in us, we will be able to carry high the flame of that love that he has enkindled in the earth; we can carry high the flame of faith and hope, with which we advance toward him, while we await his glorious return at the end of time.»

«Respond generously to Christ’s call,» the Holy Father added. «In particular, during the Priestly Year that will begin next June 19, make yourselves readily available if Jesus calls you to follow him on the path of priesthood and of consecrated life.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation