Sunday, November 26, 2006

"With Trust, I Place Myself...."

It's the liturgical equivalent of New Years' Eve -- Happy Christ the King Sunday.

(Question: Does any other parish aside from mine have a "crowning" ceremony as the boys' answer to the May Crowning? If not, think it over....)

Here's a translation of this morning's Angelus:

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, we celebrate the solemnity of Christ, King of the Universe. Today's Gospel reiterates to us one part of the dramatic interrogation to which Pontius Pilate submitted Jesus, confronting him with the accusation of having usurped the title of "king of the Jews." To the questions of the Roman governor, Jesus responds affirming that, yes, he is a king, but not of this world (cf. Jn 18:36). He did not come to have dominion over peoples and territories, but to liberate men from the slavery of sin and reconcile them with God. And he adds: "For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice" (Jn 18:37).

But what is the "truth" that Christ has come to witness to in the world? His whole existence reveals that God is love: it is therefore the truth to which he offered full testimony with the sacrifice of his own life on Calvary. The Cross is the "throne" from which he manifested the sublime kingship of God Love: offering himself in expiation for the sins of the world, he defeated the dominion of the "ruler of this world" (Jn 12:31) and has established definitively the Reign of God. A Kingdom which will manifest itself in its fullness at the end of time, after all enemies, and finally the death, are finally made subject (cf. 1 Cor 15:25-26). Then the Son will hand over the Kingdom to the Father and finally God will be "all in all" (1 Cor 15:28). The way to join this path is long and does not permit shortcuts: it happens when each person freely welcomes the truth of the love of God. He is Love and Truth, a love whose truth never impose themselves: they knock on the door of the heart and of the mind and, where they can enter, they bring peace and joy. This is the way of God's reigning; this, his project of salvation, a "mystery" in the biblical sense of the term: a design that reveals itself little by little over the course of history.

To the kingship of Christ, the Virgin Mary is associated in a singular way. To her, humble girl of Nazareth, God asks to become the Mother of the Messiah, and Mary corresponds to this call with her whole self, uniting her unconditional "yes" to that of her Son Jesus and making herself with obedient with Him to the point of sacrifice. For this God has exalted her above all creatures and Christ has crowned her Queen of Heaven and earth. To her intercession we entrust the Church and the whole of humanity, that the love of God may reign in all hearts and so complete his plan of justice and of peace.

Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae....


In his postcatechetical remarks, the Pope said the following about his visit to Turkey, which begins with his departure on Tuesday:

Dear brothers and sisters, as you know, in the days to come I will be traveling to Turkey. At this time I wish to send a heartfelt greeting to the dear Turkish people, rich in history and culture; to this People and to their representatives I express sentiments of esteem and sincere friendship. With great emotion I look forward to meeting the small Catholic Community, always present in my heart, and to unite myself fraternally to the Orthodox Church on the occasion of the feast of the apostle Saint Andrew. With trust I place myself in the footsteps of my venerable predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II; and I invoke the heavenly protection of Blessed John XXIII, who was for ten years Apostolic Delegate in Turkey and nurtured for that Nation affection and esteem. To all of you I ask your accompaniment with prayer, that this pilgrimage may bring all the fruits that God desires.

Another event of the week was also noted: "This coming December 1 marks World AIDS Day. I wish greatly that this occasion promotes an increased responsibility for the care of this illness, together with the pledge of avoiding each instance of discrimination toward the many stricken with it. Calling the comfort of the Lord upon the sick and their families, I encourage the many initiatives that the Church maintains in this area."

Benedict also observed the Italian day dedicated to cancer research, with a prayer of "encouragement" to the organizations involved in the research, and to the researchers.


As the three-day Turkish visit approaches, a crowd estimated at "more than 20,000" protested the Pope's arrival today in Istanbul as it was announced that the pontiff will visit the city's famed Blue Mosque.

A Chicago Tribune columnist writes today on Orthodoxy's "uncertain" future after a visit with one of Benedict's hosts, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

Reuters/Chris Helgren