By Antonio Gaspari
ROME, JUNE 4, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Many criticize him. Others have betrayed his trust by causing scandal. Some call for his resignation. But in the face of one of the most troubling times in his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI has shown the world the beauty and regenerating strength of Christianity.
Echoing the words of St. Paul, “When I am weak, I am strong,” Pope Benedict XVI demonstrated, at the VII World Meeting of Families in Milan, Christianity’s renewed strength in converting hearts and giving hope to the people of the world.
In a world where everything seems to be collapsing — finance, ideologies, idols, political parties, public buildings and even religious ones, the Pope gathered 80,000 young candidates for Confirmation, and more than one million families from all over the world, to tell them that the future belongs to those who have faith in Jesus Christ.
To the young people who filled the “Giuseppe Meazza” Stadium in Milan, the Pope indicated sanctity as “the normal path for Christians,” and invited them to be “be available and generous to others, overcoming temptations to put yourselves at the center because egoism is the enemy of true joy.”
“Be open to what he suggests and if he calls you to follow him on the path of the priesthood or the consecrated life, do not say no to him! It would be misguided laziness. Jesus will fill your hear for the rest of your life!”, he stressed.
Benedict XVI confirmed to families that they are the primary resource of every society during his homily at the Closing Mass. “Dear married couples, in living out your marriage you are not giving each other any particular thing or activity, but your whole lives. And your love is fruitful first and foremost for yourselves, because you desire and accomplish one another’s good, you experience the joy of receiving and giving,” he said.
The Pope explained that marriage between a man and a woman is “fruitful in your generous and responsible procreation of children, in your attentive care for them, and in their vigilant and wise education.”
“It is fruitful for society, because family life is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues, such as respect for persons, gratuitousness, trust, responsibility, solidarity, cooperation.”
In the midst of huge crowds in Milan, Pope Benedict XVI showed his serene yet strong determination in guiding “St. Peter’s boat”, illuminating the hearts and mind of the whole world.
Upon his election in April 19, 2005, the Pope said that he would be “a humble laborer in the vineyard of the Lord.” Up to now, he has kept his promises: he is trimming the vineyard, making it more open and stronger against attempts to condition and pollute it.
The Holy Father is elderly and seems frail in body, but the way in which he is cleaning “Peter’s house”, rendering it transparent and open, is something extraordinarily heroic.
No pontiff has succeeded in such a short time to cut off the dry parts, free vine shoots from impediments, and make the vine grow in the midst of a thousand difficulties.
For Catholics and for the world, the Pope has increasingly assumed the dimension of a “blessing of God.”