Pope Benedict XVI's Homily for Beatification of John Paul II

In his Testament, the new Blessed wrote: “When, on 16 October 1978, the Conclave of Cardinals chose John Paul II, the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan WyszyÅ„ski, said to me: ”˜The task of the new Pope will be to lead the Church into the Third Millennium’”. And the Pope added: “I would like once again to express my gratitude to the Holy Spirit for the great gift of the Second Vatican Council, to which, together with the whole Church ”“ and especially with the whole episcopate ”“ I feel indebted. I am convinced that it will long be granted to the new generations to draw from the treasures that this Council of the twentieth century has lavished upon us. As a Bishop who took part in the Council from the first to the last day, I desire to entrust this great patrimony to all who are and will be called in the future to put it into practice. For my part, I thank the Eternal Shepherd, who has enabled me to serve this very great cause in the course of all the years of my Pontificate”. And what is this “cause”? It is the same one that John Paul II presented during his first solemn Mass in Saint Peter’s Square in the unforgettable words: “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!” What the newly-elected Pope asked of everyone, he was himself the first to do: society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ, turning back with the strength of a titan ”“ a strength which came to him from God ”“ a tide which appeared irreversible. By his witness of faith, love and apostolic courage, accompanied by great human charisma, this exemplary son of Poland helped believers throughout the world not to be afraid to be called Christian, to belong to the Church, to speak of the Gospel. In a word: he helped us not to fear the truth, because truth is the guarantee of liberty. To put it even more succinctly: he gave us the strength to believe in Christ, because Christ is Redemptor hominis, the Redeemer of man. This was the theme of his first encyclical, and the thread which runs though all the others.

When Karol WojtyÅ‚a ascended to the throne of Peter, he brought with him a deep understanding of the difference between Marxism and Christianity, based on their respective visions of man. This was his message: man is the way of the Church, and Christ is the way of man. With this message, which is the great legacy of the Second Vatican Council and of its “helmsman”, the Servant of God Pope Paul VI, John Paul II led the People of God across the threshold of the Third Millennium, which thanks to Christ he was able to call “the threshold of hope”….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Preaching / Homiletics, Roman Catholic

One comment on “Pope Benedict XVI's Homily for Beatification of John Paul II

  1. TACit says:

    He fought against not only Marxism. Crossing the threshold of hope….let’s see, May 13, 30 years ago, a trained Turkish (Muslim) sniper entered St. Peter’s Square and shot John Paul II in the abdomen. He survived the attempt and attributed his survival to the intercessions of Our Lady of Fatima, whose feast day it was, Fatima being a name of Arab derivation. He then lived, preached and witnessed valiantly to Christ another 25 years. May 1, St. Joseph’s Day, 30 years later, his successor pronounces this servant of God, John Paul II Blessed and celebrates Mass before more than a million pilgrims in the same square, and within a few hours the pre-eminent terrorist instigator in the Muslim world, whose 9/11 and other plots threatened in their execution to extinguish hope in much of the free world during the century’s first decade, is killed in the remoteness of Pakistan. All merely odd coincidence, no doubt. I found it especially interesting to ponder that just a few months ago at the Synod for Middle East Catholic bishops the current Pope taught them saying that the false idols must fall. Those bishops are seeing this happen before their eyes.