Pontiff: Don't Forget the Gospel When Packing for Vacation

Says Holidays Are Time to Live Relationships in a New Way

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 3, 2011 (Zenit.org).- When packing for vacation this summer, leave space in your suitcase for the Gospel, Benedict XVI urges.

The Pope said this today when greeting those gathered in St. Peter’s Square today to pray the midday Angelus. Speaking in French, the Holy Father offered a brief reflection on summer vacation.

Vacation, he explained, “it’s not about leaving for the sake of leaving and resting, but rather it’s about living our relationships with our loved ones in a new way with God.”

He noted that the Gospel passage for this Sunday (Matthew 11: 25-30), which speaks of the yoke of Christ, points out to us the need for “rest and serenity.”

“Jesus invites us to come to him, to trust him,” the Pope added. “Faith in his presence gives us the serenity of one who knows he is always loved by the Father.”

“Place an emphasis on reading God’s Word, especially the Gospel, which you are sure to put in your holiday luggage,” Benedict XVI concluded. “Good pilgrimage to all!”

In English, the Pope added: “At this time of year when so many of you are taking your annual holiday, I pray that you will truly find refreshment for body and spirit and an opportunity to rest in the Lord. May God bestow his blessings of joy and peace upon all of you, and upon your families and loved ones at home.”

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