VATICAN CITY, JUNE 4, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the greeting addressed to Benedict XVI by Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, during Saturday’s meeting of the ecclesial movements and new communities. The meeting was held in St. Peter’s Square.
* * *
The people of the movements and new communities are here gathered around you. They are filled with joy and gratitude for the gift of this prayer encounter that will be another milestone in their lives and in their service to the Church. In response to the invitation extended by Your Holiness, these people have set out from all corners of the earth toward the heart of the Church in order to join the Successor of Peter in reliving the mystery of Pentecost.
Today, with the entire community of believers, they turn their minds to the Cenacle that is at the origin of the Church. It is the enduring source from which to draw the living flame of ardent love for Christ and the missionary thrust generated from that “sound like the rush of a violent wind, that filled the entire house where the apostles were sitting (Acts 2:2). As the movements and new communities commemorate the descent of the Paraclete, they wish to join you, Holy Father, just like eight years ago they joined the Servant of God John Paul II, in invoking the Holy Spirit to shower gifts lavishly on the Church and on the entire world.
Together with Your Holiness, these people wish to give thanks to the Spirit for the gift of hope that the ecclesial movements and new communities represent for the Church. It is through these charisms that multitudes of men and women of our times have gone against the prevailing currents to discover the beauty of being Christian and to find joy in communicating it to others. This can be seen from their festive presence in this open-air cenacle here in St. Peter’s Square as they witness to the world that it is beautiful to be disciples of Christ, and that meeting Christ is the most fascinating adventure that we can experience.
Holy Father, you have always told us that wherever the Spirit appears there is surprise, bewilderment and amazement, because it transforms people and changes the course of history, generating fruits that could never be the outcome of human planning. Today we wish to raise our song of praise for the fruits of holy lives, of communion, of courage and missionary creativity that these new charisms make flourish in the Church of our times. They are truly signs of a new Christian spring. “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19), said the Lord in the prophecy of Isaiah.
The historical moment that we are living in is strikingly reflected in the words of the prophet! St. Peter’s Square today is placing before the eyes of all a wonderful epiphany of the vast range of gifts with which the Spirit of God continues to enrich and adorn the Church. All so different from each other, they are deeply at one in the mystery of ecclesial communion and unanimously focused on the mission, a miracle of unity that St. Paul explained when he wrote: “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).
The movements and new communities have gathered here to say once again to the Successor of Peter: We are ready for the mission! The Church can count on us! The Pope and bishops can count on us!
Your Holiness, bless this people moved with passion for the great cause of the kingdom of God and thirsting to hear your words as master in the faith and as father.
[Translation issued by the Pontifical Council for the Laity; adapted]