Sunday, May 21, 2006

Working the Window To Fight Hunger

Well, it's Sunday, and you know what that means: B16. Window. Regina Caeli. Translation.
Dear brothers and sisters!

The book of the Acts of the Apostles tells us that Jesus, after his resurrection, appeared to the disciples for forty days and then "was taken up on high before their eyes" (1:9). It is the Ascension, which feast we celebrate on Thursday 25 May, although in some countries it's transferred to the following Sunday. The significance of this final act of Christ is a twofold one. Above all, by ascending "on high," he reveals in an unequivocal way his divinity: he returns to where he came from, in God, after having completed his mission on earth. Additionally, Christ ascends to heaven with the humanity which he took on and resurrected from the dead: this humanity is our own, transfigured, made divine, become eternal. The Ascension, therefore, reveals the "highest vocation" (Gaudium et spes, 22) of each human person: that he is called to eternal life in the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of love, of light and of peace.

On the feast of the Ascension we celebrate the World Day of Social Communications, sought by the Second Vatican Council and now in its 40th year. This year has for its theme: "The Media: Net of Communication, Communion and Cooperation." The Church watches the media with attention, as it represents an important vehicle to spread the Gospel and to further the solidarity among peoples, to turn its attention toward the great problems which profoundly plague them. Today, as an example, with the "World March to Fight Hunger" (Walk the World) initiative, announced by the World Food Program of the United Nations, is intended to increase awareness among governments and public opinion on the necessity of concrete and timely action to guarantee to all, in particular to children, "freedom from hunger." I'm close in prayer to this event, which is taking place in Rome and in cities in around 100 other countries. I wish deeply that, thanks to the contribution of all, we may overcome the scourge of hunger which afflicts humanity, placing at serious risk the hope of life of millions of people. I'm thinking, in the first place, of the urgent and dramatic situation of the Darfur, in the Sudan, where great difficulties persist in satisfying even the primary nourishment needs of the population.

With the customary recitation of the Regina Caeli we particularly entrust today to the Virgin Mary our brothers oppressed by the scourges of hunger, that many may come to their aid and all those who operate means of social communication contribute to resolidifying among peoples the bonds of solidarity and peace. We also ask Our Lady to make fruitful the apostolic voyage to Poland which, please God, I will undertake from Thursday to next Sunday in memory of the beloved John Paul II.

Regina Caeli, laetare, alleluia....

PHOTO: Reuters/Chris Helgren