Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pope Benedict Angelus for August 24 2008 (Full Text)

Here is the Pope's angelus for August 24 2008. Since he is not at Saint Peter's and thus has to stand these Angleus talks are a tad shorter. Thanks to the Ratzinger Forum for the translation. Picturres of today will no doubt be availabe here and in the Italian photo section here. The Vatican will have the offical English translation here in the next couple of days.

Here is a translation of the Holy Father's words at the noonday Angelus today.

Dear brothers and sisters! The liturgy this Sunday is addressed to us Christians but at the same time to every man and woman - the double question that Jesus posed one day to his disciples. First he asked them: "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They answered that for some, he was John the Baptist revived, for others, he was Elias, Jeremiah or one of the Prophets. Then the Lord asked the Twelve directly: "And who do you say that I am?" In the name of all of them, with impetus and decisiveness, it was Peter who took the word: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

A solemn profession of faith, which since then, the Church has continued to repeat. Even we today wish to proclaim it with intimate conviction: Yes, Jesus, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God! We do so with the awareness that Christ is the true 'treasure' for whom it is worth sacrificing everything - He is the friend who will never abandon us, because he knows the most intimate expectations of our heart. Jesus is 'the son of the living God", the promised Messiah, who came to earth to offer mankind salvation and to satisfy the thirst for life and love that dwells in every human being.

What benefits mankind would have in welcoming this announcement that brings joy and peace! "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God". To this inspired profession of faith by Peter, Jesus replied: "You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. To you I give the keys of the kingdom of the heavens."

It is the first time that Jesus speaks of the Church, whose mission is to realize the grand plan of God to reunite in Christ all mankind in one family. The mission of Peter and his successors is precisely to serve this unity of the one Church of God made up of Jews and pagans; his indispensable ministry is to make sure that it is never identified with one nation, one culture, but that it should be the Church of all peoples, to make present among all men - marked by innumerable divisions and differences - the peace of God and the renewing power of his love.

Therefore, to serve the internal unity which comes from the peace of God, the unity of all who have become brothers and sisters in Christ - that is the particular mission of the Pope, Bishop of Rome and Successor of Peter. In the face of the enormous responsibility of this task, I am ever more aware of the commitment and importance of service to the Church and to the world that the Lord has entrusted to me.

Therefore, I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to sustain me with your prayers, in order that, faithful to Christ, we may together announce and bear witness to his presence in our time. May this grace be obtained for us by Mary, whom we invoke confidently as Mother of the Church and Star of Evangelization.

After the Angelus prayers, he made this special appeal:

The international situation this week registered a crescendo of tensions which raise serious concern. We note, with sadness, the risk of a progressive deterioration of that climate of trust and collaboration among nations which should characterize relations. How can we not see, in present circumstances, the great effort that all mankind must make to form that common consciousness of being 'a family of nations' that Pope John Paul II had indicated as an ideal before the General Assembly of the United Nations? It is necessary to deepen the awareness that we share a common destiny, which is ultimately a transcendent destiny (cfr Message for the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2006, No. 6), in order to avoid a return to nationalistic counter-positions which has brought so many tragic consequences in other historical periods.

Recent events have weakened in many the confidence that similar experiences are definitely a thing of the past. But we must not give in to pessimism! Rather, we must commit ourselves actively so that the temptation to face new situations with old methods may be resisted. Violence must be repudiated! The moral force of law; equitable and transparent negotiations to dispel controversies - starting with those related to territorial integrity and self-determination by peoples; faithfulness to one's given word; the search for the common good - these are some of the principal roads to follow, with tenacity and creativeness, in order to construct fruitful and sincere relations, and to assure to present and future generations times of harmony as well as moral and civic progress.

Let us transform these thoughts and hopes into prayer, so that all members of the international community, particularly those who hold the greatest responsibility, may work generously to revive the higher causes of peace and justice. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

In English, he said:

I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus prayer. Today’s Liturgy reminds us that as Christians we profess with Simon Peter that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. As members of the Church may we always find the courage to live faithfully and bear witness in word and deed to Christ our Lord and Saviour. I wish you all a pleasant stay in Castel Gandolfo and Rome, and a blessed Sunday!

He had these special words for Spanish-speaking pilgrims:

I wish to assure you that I continue to pray for the eternal rest of those who died in the tragic air accident last Wednesday at Madrid airport, and for those who were injured. May the Lord grant strength, comfort and hope to their families, to whom I wish to reiterate my sincere affection and spiritual closeness.

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