On the Joy the Gospel Brings

«It Is Possible for Humanity to Know True Joy»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, MAY 29, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today before and after praying the Regina Caeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles states that after a first violent persecution, the Christian community of Jerusalem, except for the Apostles, spread to the surrounding areas. Philip, one of the deacons, arrived in a city of Samaria. There he preached the Risen Christ, and his proclamation was supported by numerous healings, so that the outcome of the episode was very positive: «There was great joy in that city.» (Acts 8:8).

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.

With the strength of the Holy Spirit, Philip and the other disciples accomplished in the villages of Palestine what Jesus had done: They preached the Good News and worked miraculous signs. It was the Lord who acted through them. As Jesus proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom of God, so the disciples proclaimed the Risen Jesus, professing that he is the Christ, the Son of God, baptizing in his name and driving out every illness from the body and the spirit.

«There was great joy in that city.» 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. Some great men and women saints took hope and peace to whole cities — we think of Charles Borromeo in Milan at the time of the plague; of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and of so many missionaries, whose names are known by God, who have given their lives to take the proclamation of Christ and to make profound joy flower among men. 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.

Also today the vocation of the Church is evangelization: whether to populations which have not yet been «irrigated» by the living water of the Gospel, or those that, though having ancient Christian roots, are in need of new sap to bear new fruits, and rediscover the beauty and joy of the faith.

Dear friends, Blessed John Paul II was a great missionary, as an exhibition on display now in Rome shows. He re-launched the mission ad gentes and, at the same time, promoted the new evangelization. Let us entrust both to the intercession of Mary Most Holy. May Christ’s Mother accompany the proclamation of the Gospel always and everywhere, so that the spaces where men rediscover the joy of living as children of God will multiply and spread in the world.

[After praying the Regina Caeli, the Holy Father greeted the people in various languages. In Polish, he said:]

I address my greeting to all the Poles. Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, Primate of the Millennium. Invoking the gift of his beatification, let us learn from him total abandonment to the Mother of God. May his trust expressed in the words: «I have put everything in Mary» be for us a particular model. We recall this at the end of the month of May dedicated in a particular way to Our Lady. I bless you from my heart.

[Translation by ZENIT] [In English, he said:]

I greet the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims at today’s Regina Cæli, especially those from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In the Gospel today, our Lord declares: «I will not leave you orphans», promising that the gift of the Holy Spirit will make us adopted children of God. Let us pray that we may be faithful to that gift and live fully the new life that Christ offers us. May God bless you all!

© Copyright 2011 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

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