VISIT TO ROMAN PARISH OF ST. CORBINIAN
VATICAN CITY, 20 MAR 2011 (VIS) – This morning, Benedict XVI made a pastoral visit to the Roman parish of St. Corbinian, where he celebrated Mass and consecrated the new church.
In his homily, the Pope commented on the Gospel of the Transfiguration of Christ of the second Sunday of Lent, which has “two elements, both very important: on the one hand, the mystery of the Transfiguration and, on the other, that of the temple, or rather the House of God within your own homes”.
The Holy Father explained that by means of the Transfiguration “the disciples were prepared for the Paschal mystery of Jesus: to overcome the terrible trial of the Passion and to better understand the luminous truth of the Resurrection”.
“The will of God”, he continued, “is fully revealed in the person of Jesus. A person who wishes to live according to God’s will must follow Jesus, listen to Him, welcome His words and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, absorb them more deeply. The first invitation I wish to extend to you”, the Pope to the parishioners, “is to grow in your knowledge of and love for Christ, both as individuals and as a community; to encounter Him through the Eucharist, by listening to His words, in prayer and in charity”.
Pope Benedict XVI went on to state that “the second point concerns the Church, as an edifice but above all as a community”. In this respect, he recalled that St. Corbinian founded the diocese of Frisinga in Bavaria, where he served as bishop for four years. In giving thanks to those who have contributed to building this church, he remarked, “today is an important day, which crowns the efforts, the work, the sacrifices and the commitment of the residents here to create a mature Christian community. They now have a new definitively consecrated church”.
“Just as the church building has been erected, my visit here is intended to encourage you to continue to build the Church of living stones, which you yourselves represent. … To this end, I exhort you to make your church the place in which you learn to hear the Word of God, the permanent ‘school’ of Christian life from which every activity of this young and busy parish originates”.
The Pope remarked that the parish community of St. Corbinian is young, composed in large part of newly-married couples. He exhorted the community to “give life to family pastoral care characterised by an open and cordial welcome to new families, and to favour reciprocal knowledge so that the parish community increasingly becomes a ‘family of families’, able to share with each other, not only the joys but the inevitable difficulties of initiating family life”.
“Dear friends of St. Corbinian! The Lord Jesus Christ, who conducted the Apostles to the mount to pray and showed them His glory, has today invited us to this new church; here we may hear Him, to acknowledge His presence in the Eucharist; and thus become a living Church, temple of the Holy Spirit, a worldly sign of the love of God”.
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ANGELUS: PLEA FOR SAFETY OF LIBYAN, NORTH AFRICAN PEOPLES
VATICAN CITY, 20 MAR 2011 (VIS) – At noon today, following his pastoral visit to the Roman parish of St. Corbinian, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The Pope noted that the second Sunday of Lent is that of the Transfiguration when Christ, after having announced His Passion to His disciples, took Peter, James, and John with Him to a mountaintop, as narrated by the Apostle Matthew: “He was transfigured before them; His face shone like the sun and His clothes became white as light”.
“For our senses, sunlight is the most intense in nature”, the Holy Father said, “but for the spirit, the disciples saw, for a few moments, an even more intense radiance, that of Jesus’ divine glory that illuminates all the history of salvation. … The Transfiguration is not a change in Jesus but the revelation of His divinity. … Peter, James, and John, in contemplating the divinity of the Lord, were preparing to face the scandal of the cross”.
“We too participate in this vision and in this divine gift, making space for prayer and for listening to the Word of God”, the Pope concluded. “Moreover, during this time of Lent I urge you, as did Servant of God Paul VI, to answer the divine call to penance with some voluntary act that goes beyond the denials imposed by the weight of daily life”.
After praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI mentioned the “worrying news that has been arriving from Libya in the past days” and which has caused him “disquiet and fear”. “I prayed to the Lord about it in particular during this week of spiritual exercises”, he added.
“I am now following the latest events with great apprehension”, he asserted. “I pray for those who are caught up in that country’s dramatic situation and make an urgent appeal to everyone with political and military responsibilities to concern themselves above all with the safety and wellbeing of the citizens, guaranteeing access to humanitarian aid. I ensure the population of my heartfelt closeness, while I ask God that peace and harmony may be reached as soon as possible in Libya and in the entire North African region”.
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