Pontiff: Be More Radical in Following Christ

Calls Saying Yes to God a «Beautiful Experience»

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 27, 2010 (Zenit.org).- On the last Sunday of the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart, Benedict XVI invited the faithful to be more willing and radical in responding to a call from Christ.

The Pope made these comments today in a short address before praying the midday Angelus with crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, which he dedicated to the theme of «Christ’s call and its demands.»

«Whoever has the fortune to know a young man or young woman who leaves their family, their studies or work to consecrate himself or herself to God […] has before him a living example of radical response to the divine calling,» the Holy Father began.

He called the affirmative response to God’s call «one of the most beautiful experiences that one has in the Church,» in which one sees «the Lord’s action in people’s lives, touch[es] it with one’s hand; experienc[es] that God is not an abstract entity, but a Reality so great and powerful that he can fill man’s heart in a super-abundant way. He is a Person who is alive and near, who loves us and asks us to love him.»

The Holy Father reflected on several passages from the Gospel in which Christ is «very demanding» with several disciples who express their desire to follow him. Christ informs the would-be disciples that «whoever chooses to work with him in God’s field cannot change his mind,» and must «completely sever his familial bonds.»

«These demands might appear too harsh,» Benedict XVI continued, «but in reality they express the newness and absolute priority of the Kingdom of God that is made present in the Person himself of Jesus Christ. In the final analysis it is the radicality that is owed to the Love of God, whom Jesus is the first to obey.»

The Pontiff continued: «Whoever renounces everything, even himself, to follow Jesus, enters into a new dimension of freedom that St. Paul defines as ‘walking according to the Spirit.’

«‘Christ has freed us for freedom!’ the Apostle writes, and explains that this new form of freedom acquired for us by Christ consists in being ‘in the service of each other.’

«Freedom and love coincide! Obeying one’s own egoism, on the contrary, leads to rivalry and conflict.»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-29720?l=english

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