STARA BOLESLAV, Czech Republic, SEPT. 28, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Holiness is still relevant, says Benedict XVI, and more important than worldly success and glory.
The Pope affirmed this today when he celebrated Mass in the Czech Republic on the feast of the nation’s patron, St. Wenceslaus. The Holy Father’s three-day trip to the Central European nation concluded today.
The Pontiff began the homily asking, “[I]s holiness still relevant? Or is it now considered unattractive and unimportant? Do we not place more value today on worldly success and glory? Yet how long does earthly success last, and what value does it have?”
He then observed that the Czech Republic bears witness of the “fall of a number of powerful figures who had apparently risen to almost unattainable heights.”
“Suddenly they found themselves stripped of their power,” the Pope said. “Those who denied and continue to deny God, and in consequence have no respect for man, appear to have a comfortable life and to be materially successful. Yet one need only scratch the surface to realize how sad and unfulfilled these people are.”
Instead, Benedict XVI contended, those who fear God “can also put their trust in man and spend their lives building a more just and fraternal world.”
The Bishop of Rome affirmed the world today needs “believers with credibility, who are ready to spread in every area of society the Christian principles and ideals by which their action is inspired.”
“This,” he said, “is holiness, the universal vocation of all the baptized, which motivates people to carry out their duty with fidelity and courage, looking not to their own selfish interests but to the common good, seeking God’s will at every moment.”
Reflecting on today’s feast and the republic’s patron, the Pope said St. Wenceslaus is a model of such preferring “the kingdom of heaven to the enticement of worldly power.”
“His gaze never moved away from Jesus Christ, who suffered for us,” the Pope said, “leaving us an example that we should follow in his steps.”