Humanity Can Know Joy, Says Pontiff

Considers Church’s Mission to Spread Gospel’s Living Water

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 29, 2011 ( There’s a short verse in Acts of the Apostles that Benedict XVI says he considers a message of hope, a message that «it is possible! It is possible for humanity to know true joy.»

The Pope commented this today in reference to Acts 8:8, which states, «There was great joy in that city,» describing the effects of Philip’s arrival and preaching of the Risen Christ.

«We are deeply impressed again and again by this expression, which in essence communicates a sense of hope, as if saying: It is possible! It is possible for humanity to know true joy, because wherever the Gospel arrives, life flourishes, just as an arid terrain that, irrigated by rain, is immediately verdant,» the Holy Father reflected before praying the midday Regina Caeli.

He drew from this passage a meditation on the Church’s mission to evangelize.

«Reading this passage, one thinks spontaneously of the healing power of the Gospel, which in the course of the centuries has ‘irrigated’ so many populations, like a beneficial river,» the Pontiff said.

He referred to saints who «took hope and peace to whole cities,» such as Charles Borromeo in Milan and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

«While the powerful of this world sought to conquer new territories for political and economic interests, Christ’s messengers went everywhere for the purpose of taking Christ to men and men to Christ, knowing that he alone can give true liberty and eternal life,» Benedict XVI said.

This mission continues today — both for those populations that have never received the «living water of the Gospel,» and those that «are in need of new sap to bear new fruits, and rediscover the beauty and joy of the faith,» he said.

The Pope referred to his predecessor, saying Blessed John Paul II «was a great missionary.»

«He re-launched the mission ad gentes and, at the same time, promoted the new evangelization,» Benedict XVI said. «Let us entrust both to the intercession of Mary Most Holy.»

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