All People Await Jesus, Says Benedict XVI

Urges Continual Proposal of Gospel, Without Imposing

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PORTO, Portugal, MAY 14, 2010 ( Everyone is waiting for Jesus, even those who don’t realize it, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope stated this today in a Mass celebrated in Porto’s Avenida de los Aliados, in front of the municipal palace, with the participation of 120,000 faithful. Today is the final day of his apostolic trip to Portugal.

«My brothers and sisters,» he said, «you need to become witnesses with me to the resurrection of Jesus.»

The «indispensable mission of every ecclesial community» is «to receive from God and to offer to the world the Risen Christ, so that every situation of weakness and of death may be transformed, through the Holy Spirit, into an opportunity for growth and life,» the Pontiff said.

«And everyone, in the end, asks this of us, even those who seem not to,» he affirmed. «From personal and communal experience, we know well that it is Jesus whom everyone awaits.»

«We impose nothing, yet we propose ceaselessly,» the Holy Father stated.

He said: «To this end, in every Eucharistic celebration, we will listen more attentively to the word of Christ and devoutly taste the bread of his presence.

«This will make us witnesses, and, even more, bearers of the Risen Jesus in the world, bringing him to the various sectors of society and to all those who live and work there, spreading that life in abundance which he has won for us by his cross and resurrection, and which satisfies the most authentic yearnings of the human heart.»


Benedict XVI pointed out that «the most profound expectations of the world and the great certainties of the Gospel meet in the ineluctable mission which is ours.»

Thus, he said, «we must overcome the temptation to restrict ourselves to what we already have, or think we have, safely in our possession: It would be sure death in terms of the Church’s presence in the world.»

«In recent years,» the Pope observed, «the anthropological, cultural, social and religious framework of humanity has changed.»

«Today,» he continued, «the Church is called to face new challenges and is ready to dialogue with different cultures and religions, in the search for ways of building, along with all people of good will, the peaceful coexistence of peoples.»

The Pontiff added: «The field of the mission ad gentes appears much broader today, and no longer to be defined on the basis of geographic considerations alone; in effect, not only non-Christian peoples and those who are far distant await us, but so do social and cultural milieux, and above all human hearts, which are the real goal of the missionary activity of the People of God.»

He exclaimed: «Yes! We are called to serve the humanity of our own time, trusting in Jesus alone, letting ourselves be enlightened by his word.»

«Everything is to be defined starting with Christ, as far as the origins and effectiveness of mission is concerned,» the Holy Father affirmed. «We receive mission always from Christ, who has made known to us what he has heard from his Father, and we are appointed to mission through the Spirit, in the Church.»

«Like the Church itself,» he said, «which is the work of Christ and his Spirit, it is a question of renewing the face of the earth starting from God, God always and alone.»

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