01-06-2006 - Traces, n.6
Saint Peter’s Square

He Draws Us to Himself

June 3, 2006. Four hundred thousand people filled Saint Peter’s Square and Via della Conciliazione
for the second meeting of the Pope and the ecclesial movements and new communities

“You are all one in Jesus Christ” (Gal 3:28). With His breath, the Holy Spirit impels us toward Christ. The Holy Spirit acts corporeally; He does not only act subjectively or “spiritually.” The Risen Christ said to His disciples, who supposed that they were seeing only a “spirit”: “It is I myself; touch Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have” (cf. Lk 24:39). This applies for the Risen Christ in every period of history. The Risen Christ is not a ghost; He is not merely a spirit, a thought, only an idea. He has remained incarnate–it is the Risen One who took on our flesh–and always continues to build His Body, making us His Body. The Spirit breathes where He wills, and His will is unity embodied, a unity that encounters the world and transforms it. […]

Anyone who has come across something true, beautiful and good in his life–the one true treasure, the precious pearl–hastens to share it everywhere, in the family and at work, in all the contexts of his life. He does so without any fear, because he knows he has received adoption as a son; without any presumption, for it is all a gift; without discouragement, for God’s Spirit precedes his action in people’s “hearts” and as a seed in the most diverse cultures and religions. He does so without restraint, for he bears a piece of good news which is for all people and for all the peoples. Dear friends, I ask you to collaborate even more, very much more, in the Pope’s universal apostolic ministry, opening doors to Christ.
This is the Church’s best service for men and women. […] The Holy Spirit gives believers a superior vision of the world, of life, of history, and makes them custodians of the hope that never disappoints.

(from Benedict XVI’s homily on the Vigil of Pentecost at the Meeting with Ecclesial Movements and New Communities. St Peter’s square, Rome, June 3, 2006)

“The beauty of being Christian and the joy of communicating it.” This topic invites us to reflect on what essentially characterizes the Christian event: we are met by the One who in flesh and blood, visibly, historically, brought the splendor of the Glory of God to the earth.

Christ makes Himself present in the heart of man and attracts him to his vocation, which is love. Through this extraordinary force of attraction, reason is freed from its torpor and opened to the Mystery.

Today as well, Christ continues to echo in the hearts of many the “come and follow Me” that can decide their destiny. This happens normally through the testimony of those who have had a personal experience of the presence of Christ. In the face and words of these “new creatures” His light is made visible and His invitation is made audible.

Where charity is manifested as passion for the life and destiny of others, irradiating in one’s affections and work, and becoming a force for construction of a more just social order, there, one builds civilization capable of facing the advance of barbarities.

You belong to the living structure of the Church.

(from Benedict XVI’s message to the World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities. Rocca di Papa. May 31-June 2, 2006)