The Holy Father´s Week: April 5, 2010

A report on Benedict XVI´s messages and acivities.
by Maribel de Torres | Source: Zenit.org

The Holy Father reflected on the Sacred Triduum during the general audience in St. Peter's Square.
“A time devoted to silent prayer and contemplation of the mystery of the Lord's passion, death and resurrection”. He invited to "to live intensely this Holy Triduum now imminent, to be ever more profoundly inserted in the Mystery of Christ, dead and resurrected for us." 
“The liturgies of these days invite us to ponder Christ's saving sacrifice and his promise of new life.” The Holy Father said. In this Year for Priests, he affirmed, “the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass, at which priests renew the promises made on the day of their ordination, will take on a particular significance. May priests everywhere be conformed ever more closely to Christ as heralds of his message of hope, reconciliation and peace!”
“The Mass of the Lord's Supper, celebrated the evening of Holy Thursday, recalls the institution of the sacraments of the Eucharist and Holy Orders. The liturgy of Good Friday, in which we enter into the mystery of Christ's redemptive death, invites us to contemplate the deep relationship between the Last Supper and the sacrifice of Calvary.”
“Following the great silence of Holy Saturday, the Easter vigil proclaims the resurrection of Christ and his victory over sin and death.”
"May the Most Holy Virgin accompany us in this spiritual itinerary," he prayed. "May she, who followed Jesus in his passion and was present beneath the cross, introduce us into the Paschal Mystery, so that we will be able to experience the joy and peace of the Risen One." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 31, 2010

Benedict XVI reflected on Jesus´ priestly prayer according to St. John in the Mass of the Lord's Supper. , The Pope considered the petition for the unity of the disciples. "First," he said, "he prays for his disciples, present and future. He peers into the distance of future history. He sees the dangers there and he commends this community to the heart of the Father." "Jesus prays for the Church to be one and apostolic."
This prayer gives the assurance that "the preaching of the Apostles will never fail throughout history; that it will always awaken faith and gather men and women into unity -- into a unity which becomes a testimony to the mission of Jesus Christ."
“Our life becomes authentic and true life, and thus eternal life, when we know the One who is the source of all being and all life. And so Jesus’ words become a summons: let us become friends of Jesus, let us try to know him all the more! Let us live in dialogue with him! Let us learn from him how to live aright, let us be his witnesses! Then we become people who love and then we act aright. Then we are truly alive.”
"The Lord is asking us: are you living, through faith, in fellowship with me and thus in fellowship with God? Or are you rather living for yourself, and thus apart from faith?” the Holy Father proposed.
“At this hour, when the Lord in the most holy Eucharist gives himself, his body and his blood, into our hands and into our hearts, let us be moved by his prayer.”  The Holy Father invited. VATICAN CITY, APRIL 1, 2010

“Easter is the true salvation of humanity,” the Pontiff proclaimed before tens of thousands in St. Peter´s Square. “If Christ -- the Lamb of God -- had not poured out his blood for us, we would be without hope, our destiny and the destiny of the whole world would inevitably be death”.
But, Benedict XVI reflected, “Easter does not work magic,”. “Just as the Israelites found the desert awaiting them on the far side of the Red Sea, so the Church, after the resurrection, always finds history filled with joy and hope, grief and anguish.”
“And yet,” he said, “this history is changed, it is marked by a new and eternal covenant, it is truly open to the future. For this reason, saved by hope, let us continue our pilgrimage, bearing in our hearts the song that is ancient and yet ever new: ‘Let us sing to the Lord: glorious his triumph!’"
The Holy Father offered his Easter greetings in 65 languages before giving his blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world). VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2010

Other papal messages and activities.

Papal prayer intentions for April. His general intention is: "That every tendency to fundamentalism and extremism may be countered by constant respect, by tolerance and by dialogue among all believers."
The apostolic intention is:  "That Christians persecuted for the sake of the Gospel may persevere, sustained by the Holy Spirit, in faithfully witnessing to the love of God for the entire human race.” VATICAN CITY, MARCH 31, 2010

Fifth anniversary of Pope John Paul II´s death. In the homily at a Mass in the Vatican Benedict XVI  affirmed that “What moved him was love for Christ, to whom he had consecrated his life, a superabundant and unconditional love.”
 “The Lord called him to his service and, in entrusting to him tasks of ever greater responsibility, also accompanied him with his grace and his continual assistance.”
The Pontiff affirmed that John Paul II's "progressive physical weakness [...] never affected his rock-like faith, his luminous hope, and his fervent charity."
“He let himself be consumed by Christ, for the Church, for the whole world: his was a suffering lived to the end for love and with love.” The Pope noted.
“Being on the point of living the glorious days of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord” ,the Pope continued, “ let us entrust ourselves with confidence  -- following the example of the Venerable John Paul II -- to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, so that she will sustain us in the commitment to be, in every circumstance, tireless apostles of her divine Son and of his merciful Love. Amen!” VATICAN CITY, MARCH 29, 2010

The Pope sent a telegram to the Russian President after the terrorist attacks that left more than 70 people injured.  He expressed "profound grief and firm reprobation for the brutal acts of violence." and "sentiments of solidarity, spiritual closeness and condolences to the victim's relatives," He assured the nation of his "fervent prayers of intercession for the lives cut short." VATICAN CITY, MARCH 30, 2010

The Holy Father addressed a group of 4,000 university students from 30 countries who participated in an international congress promoted annually by Opus Dei. The theme of this year's gathering is: "Can Christianity inspire a global culture?"
Benedict XVI  invited them "to reflect on the importance of university study for the formation of that 'universal Catholic mentality' which can be described as 'a breadth of vision and a vigorous endeavor to study more deeply the things that are permanently alive and unchanged in Catholic orthodoxy.'" VATICAN CITY, MARCH 31, 2010

Auxiliary bishop named for Jerusalem. Benedict XVI appointed Monsignor William Shomali, 59, as an auxiliary bishop for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. JERUSALEM, MARCH 31, 2010

The Holy Spirit is the oil of gladness who "communicates himself to us as a gift from Christ.” He is “the gift of Love who makes us glad to be alive” .The Pope said during the chrism Mass reflecting on the various symbolisms of oil, as it is used in the sacraments, "Consecrated oil is always a sign of God’s mercy”.
“So the meaning of priestly anointing always includes the mission to bring God’s mercy to those we serve.  In the lamp of our lives, the oil of mercy should never run dry." He said.
Oil strengthens for battle. "The battle of Christians consisted -- and still consists -- not in the use of violence, but in the fact that they were -- and are -- ready to suffer for the good, for God. […] The battle of the martyrs consists in their concrete ‘no’ to injustice. […] "With their ‘no’ to falsehood and all its consequences, they upheld the power of right and truth. Thus they served true peace."
 “Christ does not conquer through the sword, but through the cross. He wins by conquering hatred. He wins through the force of his greater love."  VATICAN CITY, APRIL 1, 2010

 "Good Friday is the day of greatest hope, which matured on the cross," the Holy Father affirmed at the end of the Way of the Cross at Rome's Colosseum.   "Our failures, our disillusions, our bitterness that seem to signal the collapse of everything, are enlightened by hope."
“ Jesus is the grain of wheat that falls in the earth, is torn, is broken, dies, and because of this, can bear fruit. From the day on which Christ was raised up on it, the cross, which looks like a sign of abandonment, loneliness and failure, has become a new beginning. From the depths of death is raised up the promise of eternal life; upon the cross already shines the victorious splendor of the Easter dawn”
 "The act of love of the cross, confirmed by the Father and the radiant light of the resurrection, envelops and transforms everything.” VATICAN CITY, APRIL 2, 2010
Full text:
www.zenit.org/article-28847?l=english 

Bishops worldwide affirm support for the Pope. Countless bishops from across the globe have expressed their "communion with the Pope, at this moment of pain because of the attacks he receives in his character of pastor of the universal Church" -- attacks that seek "to weaken his voice and moral authority."   APRIL 2, 2010 
 
The Holy Father spoke about the medicine of immortality during his homily at the Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter’s. He reflected that in baptism, this medicine is given to us.
 “What happens in baptism is the beginning of a process that embraces the whole of our life – it makes us fit for eternity, in such a way that, robed in the garment of light of Jesus Christ, we can appear before the face of God and live with him for ever.”
“Indeed, the cure for death does exist,” the Pope concluded. “Christ is the tree of life, once more within our reach. If we remain close to him, then we have life. Hence, during this night of resurrection, with all our hearts we shall sing the alleluia, the song of joy that has no need of words.” VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2010

A prayer for the Holy Father
Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest. I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach, and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd, we form the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Grant me the grace to love, live, and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in its belief and action, that it may truly be the instrument of your redemption. Amen.



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