S. John Paul II Homil. 574


APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO TANZANIA, BURUNDI,

RWANDA, AND THE IVORY COAST

CONFERRAL OF THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION

TO THE YOUTH OF TANZANIA


Ruhuwiko Grounds, Songea

Monday, 3 September 1990




Yesu asema: "Nami nitamwomba Baba, naye atawapa Mfariji mwingine, ili akae nanyi hata milele; ndiye Roho wa kweli".
(Jesus says: "I shall ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth" (Jn 14,16-17).

Ndugu zangu katika Kristu,
(Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ),

575 1. Jesus said these words in the Upper Room just before His Passion and Death on the Cross. He addressed them directly to the Apostles: He promised them that after leaving this world He would send them "another Advocateó the Spirit of truth". Jesus Himself had to go away: after the Resurrection He would return to the Father. But the Holy Spirit would come; the Paraclete would come down upon the Apostles, visibly, on the day of Pentecost, in the same Upper Room in Jerusalem. The Spirit of truth would enable the Apostles to become witnesses to the truth, heralds of Jesus Christ to the world. Thus Pentecost represents the beginning of the spread of the Gospel. And as the Gospel was preached to the ends of the earth, so the Church spread to every part of the world: to Africa, to Tanzania, to Songea.

In the Holy Spirit, the Lord was with the Apostles after His Ascension into Heaven and is with the Church "for ever", until the end of time. Today, here in Songea, this great assembly bears witness to the continuing presence of that Spirit of truth: "you know Him, because He is with you, and He is in you" (
Jn 14,17).

2. Ninapenda kuwashukuru nyote kwa makaribisho mazuri. Ninamshukuru Askofu Mkuu Yakobo Komba kwa maneno yake ya kunitambulisha kwenu. Ninawasalimu ndugu zangu Maaskofu waliopo hapa, mapadre wote, wamisionari, watawa, makatekista na wakristu wote kutoka majimbo ya Iringa, Lindi, Mbeya, Mbinga, Mtwara, Njombe na Tunduru-Masasi.

(Rejoicing in this fact. I wish to thank you all for the warmth of your welcome here today. I thank Archbishop James Komba for his kind words of introduction. I greet all my brother Bishops gathered here, all the priests, the missionaries, the men and women religious, the catechists and all the members of the Church in Songea and the Dioceses of Iringa, Lindi, Mbeya, Mbinga, Mtwara, Njombe and Tunduru-Masasi).

To the whole Eucharistic assembly I repeat the words of the first Reading: "May the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it was for this that you were called together" (Col 3,15).

In the fellowship of Christ I greet the representatives of the other Christian communities in Tanzania: Ninawasalimu wawakilishi wa Jumuiya Nyingine za kikristu hapa Tanzania. May there always be mutual esteem and effective cooperation among all who profess the name of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. To the followers of the Islamic faith I extend the hand of friendship and love: Ninawasalimu wafuasi wa dini ya kiislamu. As believers in one, merciful God it is essential that we develop a relationship of justice, brotherhood and mutual respect. I also greet the followers of traditional and other religions and thank them for their presence in this Assembly: Ninawasalimu pia wafuasi wa dini nyingine.

My appreciation also goes to the civil authorities who have wished to share in the special joy of the Catholic community: Ninawashukuru viongozi wa Serikali. I thank you for all that you have done to prepare this celebration. May God assist you in serving the needs of your fellow citizens and in leading your country along the path of genuine development and peace!

3. Hii ni fursa ya pekee kwangu kukutana na vijana wa Tanzania ambao ninawasalimu kwa upendo katika Bwana Yesu.
(This is my special meeting with the young people of Tanzania, whom I greet with affection in our Lord Jesus).

The words of promise which the Lord Jesus made to the Apostles are also addressed to you young Christians, who make up such a large part of this gathering. This is also a special moment of grace for me, the Bishop of Rome and Successor of Peter. The Father of mercies gives me the opportunity to communicate a unique gift to this community: the gift of the Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of Confirmation, which many young men and women are to receive during this ceremony.

In keeping with the Apostolic tradition, I will confirm you with the Holy Spirit. In doing so I wish to reflect with you, and with all young Catholic Tanzanians, on your vocation and mission in the Church and in society: Ninapenda kutafakari pamoja nanyi wito na utume wenu katika Kanisa na katika jamii. Through Baptism you have already received the Holy Spirit. Through Confirmation you will be strengthened by the same Spirit for a more responsible and public profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

576 4. Vijana wapendwa, Sakramenti ya Kipaimara itaimarisha kujitoa kwenu kwa Kristu na itawafanya muwe mashahidi wake ulimwenguni. (Dear young people, the Sacrament of Confirmation "confirms" your commitment to Christ and makes you his witnesses to the world).

In the anointing with chrism you will be sealed with the Holy Spirit, to strengthen and bring to maturity the Christian life which you already received in Baptism and which you have been living through faith, in and through the Church. You commit yourselves to greater decision and responsibility in living as Christians, in following the Gospel message. On your part, this Sacrament involves a new degree of accountability for the faith that you received at Baptism; on Godís part, it implies an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, an infusion of grace, a particular help in reaching a more mature way of living your faith.

The "new life" which you received at Baptism now becomes "yours" in a much more vital and personal way. Christ now counts on you to be his witnesses, especially to your own generation, to the youth of Africa. He sends you out to be builders of his kingdom of justice, peace and love among your brothers and sisters. He strengthens you to take your rightful place in the Churchís mission of bringing the Gospel message of truth and life to every corner of society.

5. Todayís Reading from the Letter to the Galatians clearly indicates the great demand that Christ makes on his followers:

"Mkienenda katika Roho hamtazitimiza kamwe tamaa za mwili. Kwa sababu tamaa za mwili hupingana na Roho" (
Ga 5,16).
("If you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit").

Certainly it is not easy for people, especially young people, to be selfgiving and generous when they see around them so much poverty and suffering, so many instances of neglect and injustice.

On attaining independence, many developing countries looked with optimism to the future only to find that their hopes for development today appear very far from being realized (Cfr. Ioannis Pauli PP. II Sollicitudo Rei Socialis SRS 12). The failure of development is evident in continuing hunger and malnutrition, in the plight of refugees, in exposure to disease and the lack of even basic health care. It can also be seen in the scarcity of educational facilities, of decent living conditions, of productive employment; in unfair competition for positions, in the crime, corruption and unscrupulous ambition present at many levels of social life. How many young people in Africa are deeply affected by the lack of hope that overshadows their future!

6. In many ways the world, in its human and spiritual dimensions, mirrors the original chaos mentioned in the very first words of the Book of Genesis: the world was "a formless void, (and) there was darkness over the deep" (Gn 1,2). That biblical image is a good representation of the real difficulties and the frustrations that accompany the daily life of millions of our brothers and sisters. But the Book of Genesis continues: "Godís spirit hovered over the water" (Ibid). The final word is not one of suffering and hopelessness, but of love and victory over sin.

The shape of the future facing many young Africans can look discouraging, but it need not be so. Many problems of development, no matter how overpowering, can be solved if there is a new attitude, diametrically opposed to a selfish desire for profit and the thirst for power (Cfr. Ioannis Pauli PP. II Sollicitudo Rei Socialis SRS 38). What is needed on the part of people and nations, developed and developing, is a commitment to solidarity, directed to the good of all.

The change of attitude which the world so urgently needs is not brought about by ideological tensions or social conflicts. Rather it is the result of peopleís conversion from self-indulgence to love: Kinachohitajika ni uongofu, yaani kufarakana na tamaa za mwili na kushikamana na upendo. The love we are speaking about includes a profound respect for the dignity of every person, without discrimination of any kind, and effective service of others. Young friends: look around you - at your parents, at your priests, at the Religious Sisters and Brothers - and you will see many shining examples of evangelical love. In the Christian view, only an outpouring of the Holy Spirit is strong enough to bring about a "civilization of love". That is why the Sacrament of Confirmation is so relevant to the real problems of life. That is why you who are being sealed with the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation have so much to share with others.

577 "Tunda la Roho ni... upendo, furaha, amani, uvumilivu, utu wema, fadhili, uaminifu, upole, kiasi... Na hao walio na Kristu Yesu wameusulibisha mwili pamoja na mawazo yake mabaya na tamaa zake" (Ga 5,22 Ga 5,24).
Je, vijana wa Tanzania mko tayari kuwa na uongofu wa namna hiyo?
Je, wakristu wote wa Tanzania mko tayari kushirikiana na Kristu na kwa ajili ya Kristu kuijenga nchi yenu na bara lenu katika ukweli, haki na upendo?
"Tukiishi kwa Roho, na tuenende kwa Roho" (Ibid. 5, 25).

("What the Spirit brings is... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and selfcontrol... You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires").
(Are the young people of Tanzania ready for this change of heart?).
(Are all the Christians of this land ready to work with Christ and for Christ in building up your country and your continent in truth, justice and love?).
("Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit"!).

7. In todayís Liturgy we have repeated several times the words from the psalm: "I will tell of your name to my brethren and praise you where they are assembled" (Ps 21,23).

These words speak of your mission in the Church. Through Confirmation, Christ is calling you to be like the Apostles: His witnesses before the community and before the world. What is necessary is that you love Him and keep His commandments (Cfr. Io. Jn 14,15). Then you will live in the truth, and the truth will expose the workings of evil and the underlying sources of evil. Gradually, as you work together, you will succeed in transforming the world around you, making it more human, more fraternal, more of God!

The Holy Spirit will lead you to show forth the intrinsic truth of the Gospel message, a message which is never opposed to genuine human development, but rather is the message which enlightens and sustains the human familyís pilgrimage on earth.

578 Dear Brothers and Sisters, in your liturgical celebration of the Sacraments, in your family prayer, in all that you do and say, bear courageous witness to Jesus Christ,
to Christ crucified and risen,
to the One who is meek and humble of heart,
to the One who has overcome the world,
to the One who was, who is and is to come.

Ushuhuda wa kazi zenu na uendelee ili kila kizazi hapa Tanzania na Africa nzima kipate kufikiwa na Habari Njema ya Wokovu katika Bwana na Mkombozi wetu Yesu Kristu. Je, vijana wa Tanzania mko tayari kuma na uongofu wa na namna hiyo?

(May the testimony of your good works never fail, so that each new generation in Tanzania and throughout Africa will hear the joyful Good News of salvation in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Are the young people of Tanzania ready for this change of heart? Amen).



APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO TANZANIA, BURUNDI,

RWANDA, AND THE IVORY COAST

EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION IN MWANZA, TANZANIA


Kawekamo Grounds

Tuesday, 4 September 1990




Yesu asema: "Amri yangu ndiyo hii, Mpendane, kama nilivyowapenda ninyi".
(Jesus says: "This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you" (Jn 15,12).

579 Ndugu zangu katika Kristu,
(Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ),

1. Ninayo furaha kubwa sana kupata fursa ya kuadhimisha Ibada ya Ekaristi katika Kanda hii ya Ziwa.Ninatoa shukrani kwa Askofu Mkuu Anthony Mayala kwa maneno yake mazuri ya kunikaribisha, na ninawasalimu kwa upendo mkuu ndugu zangu Maaskofu, mapadre, watawa na walei wote wa Jimbo Kuu la Mwanza na wa Majimbo ya Bukoba, Geita, Musoma, Rulenge na Shinyanga. Pia ninawasalimu kwa namna ya pekee viongozi wa Serikali na wa siasa, wawakilishi wa Jumuiya mbalimbali za kikristu na wa madhehebu mengine na watu wote.

(To all of you I express my great joy at this opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist here in the Lake Region of Tanzania. I thank Archbishop Anthony Mayala for his gracious words of welcome, and I greet with affection my Brother Bishops and all the clergy, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of Mwanza and the Dioceses of Bukoba, Geita, Musoma, Rulenge and Shinyanga. My cordial greetings also go to your esteemed Government and political leaders, as well as to the representatives of other Christian communities and other religions and to all people of goodwill).

At this Liturgy, we celebrate in a special way the sacredness of human life. The gift of life comes from God and its sacredness is revealed in the holy institution of Marriage and in the family. It is most fitting, therefore, that at this Eucharist married couples and parents will renew their marriage vows and that young children will make their First Holy Communion. In this way the whole family is represented as the Church "tastes the goodness of the Lord" (Cfr. Ps.
Ps 33,9), and is strengthened in fidelity and love in the sight of God.

"Love one another as I have loved you" (Jn 15,12). This is Jesusí command to His disciples of every age and every place! This is His command to you, the Christians of the Lake Region of Tanzania! The Lordís words have a special meaning for all those who are married. The Sacrament of Marriage consecrates before God and the Church the exclusive, faithful and lasting mutual love of a husband and wife. It is Godís will that this sacred union exist only between two people. When a man marries a woman he pledges to give his love to her and to her alone. She, in turn, promises the same to him.

2. In the celebration of the Sacrament you tell each other: "I promise to be faithful to you always... to love you and honour you all the days of my life". When these words are spoken, a lasting marriage bond is established between a man and a woman. By its very nature, this marriage covenant is holy and unbreakable: "Ndoa ni Agano Takatifu". It is holy because it is part of the Creatorís plan for the world. From the very beginning, when God created man and woman, He planned that a man should leave his father and mother and take a wife, and that the two should become one flesh (Cfr. Gen. Gn 2,24). When Jesus said: "what God has united, man must not divide" (Mt 19,6), He confirmed this truth and taught that breaking the marriage bond is against Godís plan for human life and love: Kuvunja ndoa hupingana na Mpango wa Mungu kwa maisha ya binadamu, na ni kinyume cha Upendo. Jesus made Marriage a Sacrament of the New Covenant. When two people who are baptized enter into Marriage, their faithful and life-long love becomes an effective and grace-filled sign of Christís own love, that greater love which Jesus spoke of before His Passion, when He said: "A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends". Through the grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony, the love of Christian couples becomes the mirror of the Lordís everlasting love for his Bride, the Church. Enyi Wapendwa, mlio katika maisha ya ndoa: Kwa kurudia ahadi zenu za ndoa, kila mmoja wenu, anajitoa upya kwa mwenzake, katika maisha ya Utakatifu, ya Imani na yasiyo na ubinafsi, ambayo Kristu aliyadhihirisha kwa kifo chake Msalabani. Ndiyo maana, kurudia ahadi zenu za ndoa ni tendo takatifu. (Dear married couples: In renewing your marriage vows, you renew your commitment to share with each other the holy, unselfish and faithful love which Christ showed for all mankind by dying on the Cross. For this reason, the renewal of your marriage vows sacred act). The Sacrament of Marriage is a fountain of grace which, together with the grace of your Baptism and Confirmation, and the strength which comes from the Eucharist, will enable you, day by day, to accept sacrifices for each otherís sake, to remain faithful in the face of every difficulty, trial and temptation, and in all ways to fulfill the demands of your calling as Christian married people!

3. By its very nature, Marriage also gives rise to the family, which is the cradle of love of human society. Marriage, family and society are interrelated parts of Godís plan for the world. As the basic unit of society, the family has been entrusted by the Creator with the task of transmitting the gift of life, of carrying out the command to "be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it" (Gn 1,28), and of serving human growth and maturity.

By defending the sacredness of Marriage and family life, the Church is not only being faithful to Godís will and plan, but is also providing a needed benefit to society. Where Marriage and the family are respected and protected, all society becomes stronger and more humane, and the common good is better served: Mkiheshimu na kulinda familia, jamii nzima itaimarika zaidi katika utu na katika kutoa huduma kwa manufaa ya wote.

Married couples and families need support and encouragement as they carry out their sacred duties. The Church wishes to help married couples as they seek to do Godís will in their life together. She wishes to show them the treasures of wisdom and strength which God gives to those who pray and celebrate the Sacraments. And by her teaching and the pastoral ministry of her priests and religious she wishes to help families to live according to Godís plan, in joyful communion and mutual help.

4. The Church teaches that every man, woman and child, regardless of race, sex, religion or social condition, has been made in the image and likeness of God (Cfr. ibid. 1, 26-27), and has an infinite value in Godís eyes. Hence, the dignity of every human person, from the moment of conception until natural death, must be respected. This moral duty is especially urgent today, in the face of new dangers and threats to innocent human life and the sanctity of Marriage. Among such threats, I include the "unspeakable crime" of abortion (Gaudium et Spes GS 51), and methods of birth control that are contrary to the "truth" of married love as a "gift" by which husband and wife become cooperators with God in giving life to a new human person (Cfr. Ioannis Pauli PP. II Familiaris Consortio FC 14).

580 In obedience to the Lordís commandó "Love one another as I have loved you" (Jn 15,12)ó you, the Christians of the Lake Region, are challenged to think about the situation in your own country. Do the elderly, the widowed, the disabled and the lonely find among you the understanding and support they require? Is the human dignity of all individuals always respected? Or is it threatened by practices such as uchawi or witchcraft, which lead those who are involved in it to forms of enslavement and false worship? Likewise, although there are many authentic and praiseworthy human values associated with traditional marriage customs such as mahari, do not excesses and abuses of these customs lead to attitudes which judge the dignity and worth of persons only on the basis of wealth and possessions?

Each of us has a fundamental duty to be a Christian neighbour to others, especially the poor, the weak, the suffering and the downtrodden. I pray that Tanzaniaís Catholic families will always be shining examples of love and concern for others. I earnestly hope they will welcome, respect and serve the least of their brothers and sisters, since they know that every human person is a child of God in whom we meet Christ Himself (Cfr. Ioannis Pauli PP. II Familiaris Consortio FC 64).

5. Dear brothers and sisters: This celebration of the sacredness of human life in marriage and the family is made more meaningful by the fact that there are children here today who are coming to the Lordís table for the first time, children who owe their life and Christian upbringing to you, the Catholic parents of Tanzania. Today, for the first time, these children will receive the greatest of sacramental graces: Leo watoto hawa watapokea Sakramenti ya Ekaristi kwa mara ya kwanza. As they receive the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus, their hearts will be filled with the saving power of His love, revealed to us in His Death on the Cross.

Enyi watoto wapendwa: Yesu atawapa zawadi yenye thamani kubwa kwa sababu ninyi ni wana wa familia yake, yaani Kanisa. Mmejifunza kutoka kwa wazazi na walimu wenu, jinsi ya kumpenda Yesu. Mnajua kuwa Yeye ni Mwana wa Mungu, anayesamehe dhambi na kutufungulia mlango wa Mbingu. Naye Yesu anawapenda sana, hivyo nanyi kwa upande wenu mmpende kwa moyo wenu wote.

(Dear young friends: Jesus gives this precious gift to you because you are members of His family, the Church. From your parents and your teachers you have already learned to love Jesus. You know that He is Godís Son, who forgives your sins and opens for you the gates of heaven. Since Jesus loves you so much, you will want to love Him in return with all your heart).

Today the Pope asks you to remain close to Jesus at all times, in union with your brothers and sisters in the Church, until the day when we see Him face to face, together with Mary our Mother and all the saints, in our home in heaven!

6. In every celebration of the Sacraments, we are renewed by the Fatherís love, the love which He showed by sending us His beloved Son. Today, at this Mass, Jesus once again offers us the gift of His Body and Blood, and He repeats to each of us: "As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. Remain in My love" (Jn 15,9).

"Remain in My love!" Love demands fidelity: Upendo unadai uaminifu. It calls for perseverance in doing good. That is why Jesus says: "If you keep My commandments you will remain in My love, just as I have kept my Fatherís commandments and remain in His love" (Ibid. 15, 10). May the power of that love be your support and encouragement, dear married people and parents. May the love of the Lord Jesus also help you, dear children, to be always friends of Jesus. This loveó this faithful loveó is the wellspring of joy, the source of true happiness, both here on earth and for all eternity.

Yesu asema: "Hayo nimewaambia, ili furaha yangu iwe ndani yenu, na furaha yenu itimizwe". Hilo ndilo jambo analowatakia Bwana Yesu.

Na kwa njia ya sala na utumishi wangu na wa Maaskofu, pamoja na Mapadre, na kwa njia ya mfano na mafundisho ya masista na makatekista, Kanisa linawatakia heri hiyo hiyo.

"Mpendane kama nilivyowapenda ninyi". Amina.

581 (Jesus says: "I have told you this so that My own joy may be in you, and your joy be complete" (Jn 15,11).

(This is what Jesus wishes for you).

(This is what the Church asks for you through the prayers and ministry of the Pope and all your Bishops and priests, and through the example and teaching of the Sisters and catechists)

(Love one another so that your joy may be complete. Amen).

APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO TANZANIA, BURUNDI,

RWANDA, AND THE IVORY COAST

LITURGY OF THE WORD


Ali Hassan Mwinyi Stadium - Tabora (Tanzania)

Tuesday, 4 September 1990




Mtakatifu Paulo aliwaandikia Wakorinto: "Maana kama vile mwili ni mmoja, nao una viungo vingi, na viungo vyote vya mwili ule, navyo ni vingi, ni mwili mmoja, vivyo hivyo na Kristu" (1Co 12,12).
(Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ").

Ndugu zangu katika Kristu,
(Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ),

1. Today, the Successor of Peter has come to Tabora to rejoice with you in the communion that is ours in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As your brother in Christ, I have long looked forward to being with you. And now, I already feel at home among you! On this happy occasion, it is my pastoral duty to confirm you in the faith you have received, and to encourage you in the work of spreading the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord. Ninawasalimu nyote kwa ushirika wetu katika Roho Mtakatifu. Kwanza kabisa ninamsalimu kwa moyo wote Askofu Mkuu Mario Mgulunde, na ninamshukuru kwa maneno yake ya kunitambulisha. Ninawasalimu pia Askofu Mkuu Marko Mihayo, Maaskofu wote, mapadre, watawa na walei wote wa Jumbo Kuu la Tabora na wa majimbo ya Kahama, Kigoma, Singida na Sumbawanga. Kwa upendo mwingi ninawasalimu vijana wote wanaojitayarishia daraja ya Upadre katika Seminari Kuu ya Mtakatifu Paulo, Kipalapala. Na kwa heshima na moyo wa shukrani ninawasalimu viongozi mbalimbali wa Serikali na wa kidini kwa kuwepo kwao hapa.

582 (In the fellowship of the Spirit, I greet you all. In the first place, I cordially greet Archbishop Mario Mgulunde, whom I thank for his kind words of welcome, Archbishop Mark Mihayo and all the Bishops, priests, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of Tabora and the Dioceses of Kahama, Kigoma, Singida and Sumbawanga. With particular affection I greet the young men who are studying for the priesthood at Saint Paulís Seminary in Kipalapala. And with gratitude and esteem I greet the civil authorities and religious leaders who honour us with their presence this afternoon).

2. Saint Paul told the members of the Church in Corinth that the many charisms or spiritual gifts which they had received were the fruit of the Holy Spirit, "who distributes different gifts to different people just as He chooses" (
1Co 12,11). Like the landowner in the Gospel parable (Cfr. Matth. Mt 20,1-16), God apportions His grace as part of His mysterious plan for the salvation of the world in Jesus, His Son (Cfr. Eph. Ep 1,9-10). All our gifts and talents are given to us in trust, and must be used to encourage our brothers and sisters on the path of faith, hope and love. To each person the gifts of the Spirit are given for the common good (Cfr. 1Co 12,7). On the one hand, the People of God are endowed with an abundance of charisms and gifts, leading to holiness of life and the witness of good works. On the other hand, in the Church there is also a rich variety of ministries, offices and roles of service which all combine to build up Christís kingdom of grace and peace. Each person has his or her calling and place in the Body of Christ. No one is excluded from working in the Lordís vineyard!

3. The ordained ministry of deacons, priests and bishops is of course the essential channel through which Christ continues to teach, sanctify and guide his followers in the way of the Gospel. The witness of men and women religious shows forth the love and meekness of Christ, His complete consecration to the Fatherís will and His interior freedom in the service of othersí spiritual and material needs. Your local Churches have need of good and holy priests and religious! There are many of them here today. We must pray unceasingly for vocations, so that many young men and women will respond generously to the Lordís call. Walei wote, waume kwa wake, wanao wajibu wa kubadili mazingira wanamoishi, wakifanya imani yao kuwa nyenzo ya maisha ya kila siku, na ni kwa nija hiyo, familia, jamii na mataifa yote vitaendelea vikifuata mafundisho yaliyotajwa kwenye Injili kuhusu Heri.

(But it is lay men and women who must play a direct role in transforming the world in which they live, bringing their faith to bear on the realities of everyday life so that families, societies and entire nations will advance in the spirit of the Beatitudes).

The fathers and mothers of families, men and women in the home, in the fields, the mines or the factories, in every form of work and social life are called to exercise their "royal priesthood" (1 Petr. 2, 9), offering their whole lives to God as a "holy sacrifice" (Rm 12,1), showing forth Godís goodness in the world and reconciling all created things to the Father through Christ (Cfr. Col. Col 1,20). Mfano tuliousikia katika Injili ya leo unahusu waumini wote: mtu asikae tu bila kazi. Kila mmoja ashiriki kazi ya ujenzi wa Kanisa na wa jamii kufuatana na neema aliyoipokea. Bwana asema kwa kila mmoja wetu"Nenda nawe katika shamba la mizabibu". (The parable of todayís Gospel Reading applies to all the faithful: no one can stand idly by. Each one according to the grace received has much to do in building up the Church and society. To each one the Lord says: "You go into the vineyard too") (Mt 20,7).

4. Dear brothers and sisters: How many and varied are the gifts with which the Spirit has built up the Church in Tanzania! Through the wise and dedicated efforts of the missionaries, the Gospel was first preached among you. Through the patient labours and heroic sacrifices of countless priests, religious Sisters and Brothers, catechists, teachers, and Christian parents, the Church has been implanted in your nation. Seeing all of you here today I am filled with hope and confidence that the Holy Spirit will continue to raise up men and women who will selflessly devote themselves to the flowering of authentic holiness, and the generous service of their brothers and sisters!

What still needs to be done? Where is the Lord leading the Church in Tanzania after over a hundred years of evangelization and at the approach of a new Christian millennium? The Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, now in preparation, is a "sign" that this is a special hour of grace for the Church on this Continent (Cfr. Lineamenta, 13). In coming to your country, one of my principal intentions is to appeal to you to meet the challenges of this new stage of evangelization with all your "gifts" and with all the resources of your local Churches.

Neither the specific event of the Synod nor the general task of evangelization are matters for Bishops and priests only. The part to be played by the laity is of essential importance, for it is a question of winning Africa to truths and values which, in order to be believed and accepted, must be experienced in the concrete daily existence of the Christian community. When the world sees your spirit of prayer and adoration of God, your solidarity with others, especially the poorest and neediest, your courage in times of suffering and difficulties, your self-control in the face of violence and injury, and your temperance in all things, then the world will ask: Why are they so? Who inspires Tanzaniaís Christians to such great love? At that point, the well-known words of Christ will echo in all their truth: "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden" (Mt 5,14).

5. There are countless ways in which lay men and women can announce the word of God and make known the "infinite treasure of Christ" (Ep 3,8). In particular, I wish to encourage the mothers and fathers of families to continue to lead their children in prayer and to teach them the love of God and the rules of Christian living. A special form of announcement is the work of catechesis in parishes, schools and youth movements: Ninawashukuru Makatekista waliopo hapa na wengine wote popote Tanzania kwa mfano bora na moyo wao wa kujitoa.
(I thank all the catechists present here and throughout Tanzania for their exemplary commitment).

Never abandon your dedication to preaching the full truth of Christ crucified, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power (Cfr. 1Co 1,17). In spreading Godís word, however, both proclamation and catechesis must also be accompanied by a correct spirit of dialogue in truth and love with all those who do not share our Catholic faith so that harmony and faith will grow. Religious and moral convictions cannot be imposed; they must attract acceptance by their own intrinsic beauty and power to persuade.

583 The truth which the Gospel of Jesus Christ reveals is no "worldly wisdom" (Cfr. ibid. 1, 20), but the reality of the Fatherís infinite and merciful love made known in Jesusí compassion for the multitudes (Cfr. Matth. Mt 9,36), and in the Christian communityís unfailing care for the least of Christís brothers and sisters (Cfr. ibid. 25, 40). Now as always, practical solidarity with our neighbour is the most compelling and immediate demand of Christian love, and a most effective way of communicating the Gospel message. In the increasing complexity of modern societies, the work of human development and the promotion of greater justice and of the structural changes that will permit peoples and nations to provide for the good of all their members is another valid and necessary form of commitment on the part of Christians. What is called the "love of preference for the poor", as long as it excludes no one, manifests the Churchís adamant defence of the human dignity that is every individualís inalienable right.

Ndugu zangu walei wa Tanzania, wake kwa waume, mnaitwa kuchukua jukumu zaidi, mkiongozwa na wachungaji wenu, katika utume wa Kanisa nchini mwenu na katika bara la Afrika. Msiuache "wakati huu wa neema" upite hivi hivi. "Sasa ndio wakati wa mavuno".
(You, the Catholic lay men and women of Tanzania, are being called to become increasingly responsible, alongside your pastors, for the Churchís mission in your country and in Africa. Do not let this "hour of grace" slip by. The harvest is ready! (Cfr. Marc. 4, 29).

6. Nikiwa hapa Tabora, ninapenda kusema kwamba Kanisa linawashughulikia kwa namna ya pekee wale ambao ni wazee au wagonjwa hasa vipofu na viziwi. Baadhi yao wapo katika ibada hii.
(Here in Tabora, I wish to refer to the Churchís particular concern for those members of the community who are elderly or sick, especially the blind and the deaf, some of whom are present at this celebration).

Dear friends: you too have a very important and noble mission within the Body of Christ, the Church! Through your union with the Lord in the mystery of his suffering, you are challenged to grow in holiness, to know more profoundly and to share more generously with others the gift of Godís love as it has been revealed in the sufferings of His Son. Through the spiritual solidarity which unites us in the "communion of saints", your sufferings are helping to bring about the spread of Godís Kingdom and the triumph of His grace. Ndugu wapendwa, jueni kwamba, kuwepo kwangu hapa pamoja nanyi ni ishara ya upendo katika Kristu, ambaye ndiye Mkuu wa Kanisa.

(Be assured that the Popeís presence with you today clear sign of the Churchís love for you in Christ, her Head).

I wish also to acknowledge with gratitude the devoted service given to our suffering and handicapped brothers and sisters by the Archdiocese of Tabora, the Missionaries of Charity, and by our brothers and sisters of the Pentecostal Church. Here too, I gladly express the Churchís appreciation of the efforts of those who serve the needy and those who strive through their involvement in the political life of your country to bear witness to Christ and to ensure a better and more secure life for all Tanzaniaís people.

7. Dear brothers and sisters: in the Gospel of todayís Liturgy, the generous landowner goes out at various times into the market place to find workers to send into his vineyard. Some were present to answer his call at daybreak; others appeared later in the morning, and some were not sent until the day was nearly done. Does this parable not remind us that it is never too late to serve the Lord and to benefit from His infinite generosity? The Church today has great need of young people, filled with life and enthusiasm, to show to others the hope and joy which come from embracing Christ and His way of holiness. She has need of mature Christians, who have grown in wisdom and prudence as they have learned to let their faith in Christ permeate every aspect of their thinking and behaviour. The Church needs holy and committed believers of every age, who are nourished by prayer, solid in faith and zealous in proclaiming to the world the salvation, joy and peace which come from the Risen Lord!

As you strive to use the many gifts which you have received in Baptism for the building up of the Church in Tanzania, I commend you to the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through her obedience to the word of God and her openness to the Spirit, she became the Mother of God and Mother of the Church. I pray that she will guide all of you in the ways of holiness and assist you in your efforts to live fully the great calling which you have received in Christ!

Mungu awabariki nyote! Amina. (May God bless you all! Amen).

S. John Paul II Homil. 574