S. John Paul II Homil. 495
“Army Air Wing” Airport, Lilongwe (Malawi)
Saturday, 6 May 1989
“God has gone up...
God is king of all the earth
God reigns over the nations” (Ps 5-8).
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
496 Dear people of Lilongwe and the surrounding district,
1. This Mass celebrated here in Lilongwe, the new capital of Malawi, is the final act of my present visit to Africa. I have spent eight memorable days in four different countries. In this Eucharist I bring all the peoples of Africa before the Lord of heaven and earth, and I renew my call to you all to love him.In my pastoral visits throughout the world I make this appeal to people of every race and language: keep close to Christ! This is my message for everyone here today. Yes, keep close to Christ! I ask you to remember this long after my departure.
I greet Bishop Chimole, the priests of the diocese, the White Fathers who began this mission; the Montfort Fathers who contributed so much to the evangelization of the South; the Carmelite, Franciscan and Kiltegan Fathers; the Brothers and Sisters from Congregations too numerous to mention, but all loved and esteemed for their evangelical witness and loving service of the Church here. I send a special greeting to the contemplative Poor Clares, whose life of prayer and penance has a hidden spiritual fruitfulness. And I offer my encouragement to all the catechists, the members of ecclesial movements and organizations, and to all of God’s people present at this Mass.
I thank the public authorities for their participation in this moment of joy for the whole Catholic community. And to all the children and young people here I say: the Pope loves you and places his hope in you!
2. We heard in the Reading from the Acts of the Apostles that Christ, forty days after his Resurrection and in the presence of the apostles, “was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight” (Ac 1,9).
The cloud manifests God’s presence while at the same time veiling him from sight (Cfr. Ex Ex 24,15-18). In the Old Testament we read that the Lord descended to Moses in a cloud: “The Lord came down in a cloud and spoke to him” (Nu. 11, 25). When Jesus was transfigured, the cloud again revealed the presence of God (Cfr. Mt 17,1-8). Christ will come again “upon the clouds” (Ap 1,7), while the elect will go up to meet him, likewise upon the clouds (1Th 4,17).
Christ was taken up in the cloud and hidden from the sight of the apostles. Christ who rose from the dead on the third day is triumphant over death. Now that he has ascended to the Father, he has gone to prepare a place for the elect, who will share fully in this new life for ever in heaven. Christ left the world, but he will manifest himself again at the end of time (Act, 1, 11).
3. The Letter to the Ephesians also speaks of Jesus’ return to the Father. Saint Paul writes: “In saying, ‘he ascended‘, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?” (Ep 4,9).
Yes. “Descended”: the Son of God, of one being with the Father, God from God and Light from Light, became man. “Descended” – sent by the Father in the Holy Spirit. “Descended” for our salvation and to redeem us from sin.
This victory has been achieved through the Cross – by means of Jesus’ Passion and Death. Christ crucified and buried in the tomb “rose again on the third day” and thereby confirmed his power over death. Herein lies the truth about Jesus Christ, true God and true man. And so Saint Paul adds: “He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things” (Ibid.4, 10) .
Christ “ascended” and is “at the right side of the Father” as the Eternal Son. The one Mediator between God and us, he was sent to intercede on our behalf. He became the Son of Man and as true man he “returned to the Father”. He reigns over all, but his kingdom is not of this world (Cfr. Io Jn 18,36). That is what Christ said before Pilate.
497 At the same time, he – the Messiah – proclaimed the coming of the kingdom and handed it over to the apostles and to the Church as a task to be fulfilled. And if man, together with all other living creatures, is for the time being subject to death, he who has conquered death has revealed and established the kingdom which absolutely exceeds all earthly powers and kingdoms, and all the powers of darkness and death.
4. Unfortunately, the signs of darkness are familiar to everyone. There are personal sufferings and personal failings. There are collective and social evils which call for courage and unending efforts to resolve them.
I know that many young people cannot find work and easily lose hope. Unemployment does not enhance a person’s dignity, whereas “through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfilment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes ‘more a human being’” (IOANNIS PAULI PP. II Laborem Exercens LE 9). On many occasions I have appealed for a new economic order that will permit the peoples of developing countries to guide their own destinies in this field and to guarantee sources of employment for the active population (Cfr. EIUSDEM Sollecitudo Rei Socialis, 26). I encourage you, young people, not to lose confidence in yourselves. You understand that fulfilment and happiness lie not so much in having as in being: in being mature and responsible men and women committed to building a society that is just, peaceful and concerned for the weak and the needy.
In recent years Africa has seen an alarming increase in the number of people who have had to flee from their homeland due to war or hunger. Malawi has opened its doors to thousands of refugees, many of whom are Catholics. Every effort by the public authorities, the Churches and international organizations to help these brothers and sisters must be encouraged and supported. To you who have had to cross the border, I say: Do not lose hope! Christ himself was once a refugee. He was a refugee in Egypt – here in Africa! He is at your side to give you courage and hope. We must all pray for peace, greater stability and harmony in this continent. The future of Africa is at stake.
5. Brothers and sisters: before I leave Africa I wish to appeal to you and to all people of good will to realize the importance and sacredness of family life. A people cannot be strong without a strong family life. A nation cannot long survive in justice and social harmony without a healthy family life. The family is the original environment of personal development. It is the foremost school of human relations and social maturity. It is the place of first religious notions and practices.
The estrangement of so many married couples and the tragedy of broken marriages in cause for grave concern. Unity must be reflected in a deep bond of love between parents and between them and their children. African cultures have always stressed love for children. Is Africa to renounce that love? In favour of what? My appeal reaches out to all parents: love your children as God’s greatest gift to you. Introduce them to Christ, lead them in his ways.
Just as parents are the first teachers of the young in the ways of faith, Catholic schools too have an important role as centres of formation in faith and human growth. I thank the Sisters, Brothers and lay people who have dedicated themselves to serving the young in this way. It is my fervent hope that collaboration between the State and the Church will continue to give Catholic schools the freedom and support they need to promote education. The children and young people are Malawi’s future.
6. The theme of my visit has been “Be Converted and Live”. Your bishops have written a Pastoral Letter on the subject to remind you that the followers of Christ are constantly being called to conversion and holiness of life. What does it mean to lead a life of conversion? It means living in faithfulness as Christ was faithful – faithful to his Father and faithful to his promises. For the people of Malawi today, it means living in fidelity to Christ, in a spirit of love, of generous service to others, of respect, unity and harmony. It means being honest, truthful and reliable in human relations. It means accepting others with their own traditions and special gifts. As converted and grace-filled people, you must proclaim the loving and powerful presence of Christ in your cities, towns, villages and country areas. Christ calls each one of you away from sin and back to the light – the light of faith, hope and love.
Here today in Lilongwe, at the end of my visit to Malawi and to Africa, let us give thanks to God for the grace that is yours in Jesus Christ and for the Church that is present in your midst, seeking to reveal the love of God for you all. The Christian is “called in grace” (Ga 1,6), “established in grace” (Rm 5,2), and lives under its reign (Cfr. ibid. 5, 21; 6, 14). This existence is life in the fullest sense of the word, the life of those who have “returned from the dead” and who live a new life with the Risen Christ (Ibid. 6, 4. 8). Through grace we succeed in becoming ourselves. Through grace we grow in holiness before God.
I put before you today a challenge – a challenge to reject a way of living which does not correspond to the best of your local traditions and your Christian faith. Many people in Africa look beyond Africa for the so-called “freedom of the modern way of life”. Today I urge you to look inside yourselves. Look to the riches of your own traditions, look to the faith which we are celebrating in this assembly. Here you will find genuine freedom – here you will find Christ who will lead you to the truth.
7. We read in Saint Mark’s Gospel:
498 “...the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it” (Marc.16, 19-20) .
Yes. The Lord ascended. But he remains with us.He is with you here in Malawi.
Today, dear friends, I bid farewell to this beautiful land and to you, the people who have welcomed me with such kindness and love. I thank you with all my heart. I ask God’s blessing on the people of the northern part of the country, some of whom are here today. Unfortunately, I have not been able to visit you on this occasion. I assure you of my thoughts, my affection and my prayers.
I take with me the remembrance of your smiling faces, and the hope which this country offers for the future of Africa and the future of the Church. I pray that the work of evangelization which began here almost a century ago and which has already borne much fruit will continue to yield a rich harvest. Christ’s message must be made known to all. I pray that the Catholic Church in Malawi will grow in spiritual stature and will be a sure light for all people to follow.
Be converted and live! God bless Malawi! Amen.
Thursday, 1 June 1989
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise always on my lips” (Ps 34,1)
Dear Brothers an Sisters,
1. For the first time ever the Successor of Saint Peter celebrates the Eucharist in these northern countries. I am deeply moved. And I am not alone. I am sure that you too, my fellow members of the household of the faith (Cfr. Gal Ga 6,10), are profoundly grateful to God for being able to offer this “thanksgiving” liturgy. Let us bless him who is our Creator and the Lord of history: God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – who has gathered us together for the Eucharist, which is the prayer and sacrifice of Christ himself in union with his body, the Church.
It is for me an extraordinary grace and honour to praise God here, in Oslo, the capital of Norway, in Northern Europe, in Scandinavia,
499 – together with you, Bishop Schwenzer and Bishop Gran, and the other members of the Episcopal Conference of the Nordic Countries,
– with you, the priests, religious and laity of the Diocese of Oslo,
– with you, dear brothers and sisters of the Lutheran community!
The praise of the Lord is on our lips and in our hearts!
2. “You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Mt 5,13-14 Mt 5,16).
This is the message of the Gospel reading we have just heard. Jesus challenges his followers with the task of transforming the world, of bringing new light to bear on our human condition so that good may prevail and God may be honoured. It is more than a thousand years since this saving message was first proclaimed in this land. The life and martyrdom of the great Saint Olav marked the “Baptism” of the Norwegian peoples. Through Baptism your ancestors were buried in the redemptive death of Christ, and rose with him to a new life.
Christ became their light. Remember and cherish this heritage, which is also the heritage of your country, painted so vividly for the world by your great author, Sigrid Undset.
3. The theme of light and darkness which runs through the whole of Revelation must be particularly dear to the northern peoples, who experience each year more fully than people elsewhere the passage from winter gloom to summer brightness. You are all happy to see the days grow longer and warmer. Scripture uses this very symbolism to indicate the terms of the pilgrimage through history of each individual and of all humanity in the hope of salvation.
“God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another” (Jn 1,5-7).
There is a darkness that is inevitable in life on this earth. There is pain and suffering and death; there are failed hopes and broken promises; there is cruelty and injustice. Modern philosophical thinking has given much attention to the existential and metaphysical aspects of the anxiety that accompanies human beings on their pilgrim way through life: the anxiety of a finite existence and of limited human possibilities.
And there is often another “fear” lurking in our conscience. It is related to our sense of responsibility for the good and evil that we experience in ourselves and in the world around us. One of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council describes the human condition in this way: “As a created being, man experiences his limitations in a multitude of ways... As a weak and sinful being, he often does what he would not, and fails to do what he would. And so he finds himself divided, and from this flows much discord in society” (Gaudium et Spes GS 10). For many people, however, the “fear” that arises from weakness and sin is a positive step towards conversion and change.
500 4. It is the Church’s task to help men and women today to face the challenges inherent in their human condition. The first step is to over-come our reluctance to examine our-selves and the truths and values on which we build our lives. What is man? What is the meaning of suffering, of evil, of death, which have not been eliminated by progress? What is the purposes of progress itself, bought at so high a price? What can we contribute to society? What can we expect from it? What happens after this earthly life is ended? (Ibid.)
In response to these questions, “the Church believes that Christ, who died and was raised up for all, through his Spirit provides man with the light and the strength to measure up to his supreme calling” (Gaudium et Spes ). Today it is given to me – the Bishop of Rome and Successor of Saint Peter – to reaffirm this faith, here in Oslo: to encourage a serious reflection on the flight from God and from higher moral values which is typical of secularized society.
A thousand years of Christian life has profoundly marked Norwegian society. Your attention to those in need, your care for the handicapped, the weak and the aged, your protection of the rights of women and of minorities, your willingness to share your wealth with the poor of the world, the generosity with which you have opened your frontiers to refugees, and Norway’s contribution to peace in the world – these are all values which have grown out of your Christian heritage, out of Norway’s “baptismal grace”.The challenge facing all Christians in Norway is to bear authentic and convincing witness to the Gospel message which is the root and support of these values. “You are the salt... But if the salt loses its flavour, with what shall it be salted?” (Mt 5,13). Do not be daunted by the enormity of the task. The Lord who has called you will be your strength.
5. The Lord has called you together.
My dear Catholic brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of Norway, and all of you who have come from other countries and have made your home here: the words of the Prophet Ezekiel can be applied to you:
“I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries,
and bring you into your own land...
and you shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Ez 36,24 Ez 36,28).
Gud har samlet dere fra mange lande.
Dios os ha llamada a uniros desde España e America Latina.
Gott hat Euch aus Deutschland hierher gerufen.
501 Bóg zebral was z Polski.
Dieu vous a appelés tous ensemble de la France.
Thiên Chúa dã tu hop anh chi em tù Viet Nam.
Bog vas je pozvao iz Hravatske.
Dio vi ha chiamati insieme dall’Italia.
Isten ide vezetett titeket Magyarországról.
God heeft U allen byeengeroepen uit Nederland.
6. “I shall bring you into your own land...”.
These are the words which the Prophet said to the sons and daughters of Israel taken from their homeland into exile. This is the historical sense of the Prophet’s words. But there is another sense to his statement, a sense which refers to the more basic “exile” which all the sons and daughters of Adam share on this earth. As Protestants and Catholics journey to their eternal home, is not their true “homeland”, the kingdom of God, already present in the one Church of Christ on earth?
Two serious and solemn facts face all those who love the Church as the Body of Christ. The first is that the Good News of redemption has not yet been preached to all. The second is the burden of divisions among Christians bequeathed by history. All of us are challenged by the Lord’s command: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation” (Marc. 16, 15). The missionary vocation is rooted in the very fact of being Christians. And so too is the call to Church unity. In Norway, ecumenical relations have reached a high degree of mutual understanding and collaboration. There remain many difficult questions at the level of faith and doctrine, but your certain trust is that the Spirit “ will guide you into all the truth” (Jn 16,13).
As the one who has inherited from Christ the “Petrine ministry”, I above all must repeat, with humility and fervour, the prayer of Christ at the Last Supper: “Father,... that all may be one... so that the world may believe” (Ibid. 17, 21). Father, Lord of our hearts and of our consciences, make this come about! You who through the lips of Ezekiel promised your people, “I will give you a new heart and a new spirit”, touch our hearts! Awaken our spirit! Enliven us with the power of a new Pentecost!
502 7. The Prophet speaks in God’s’ name:
“A new heart I will give you and a new spirit I will put within you...
I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes” (Ez 36,26-27).
In this way the Lord God himself becomes our strength.
The Spirit of God – the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete, the Consoler – becomes a pilgrim to our hearts, to what is most intimate in our human condition. Because of this, the “hearts of stone” – insensitive, indifferent, immersed in the here and now, closed to God – become “hearts of flesh”, sensitive human hearts which feel the presence and the needs of every brother and sister, hearts open to God: hearts open to the Word of God – and to the divine ethos.
For this marvellous transformation.
“Glorify the Lord with me,
Together let us praise his name” (Ps 34,3).
Is this not God’s will? Was this not his providential design when he called us together in this special Eucharistic community?
La meg till slutt pröve a hilse dere pa deres eget sprog. Jeg vet at den katoliske kirke i Norge favner mer enn nitti forskjellige nasjonaliter. Dette er en stor rikedom og samtidig en utfordring: A vise verden at Kristi kjärlighet forener oss i ett legeme. Jeg hilser ogsa alle ikkekatolikker som er tilstede her i dag. Be sammen med oss om enhetens gave, slik at vi en dag kan samles rundt et felles nattverdbord.
Gid velsigne dere alle!
503 Technical University of Trondheim (Norway)
Friday, 2 June 1989
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Text in Norwegian
1. Kjäre bröde og söstre i Midt-Norge!
Jeg er glad for a kunne feire festen till äre for Jesu helligste hjerte sammen med dere her i Trondheim. Dere kommer fra menighetene i Alesund, Molde, Kristiansund, Levanger og Trondheim.
Mange av dere har gjort en stor innsats for a forberede denna dagen. Dét gleder jeg meg over och takker dere alle!
You have come, like the pilgrims of old, to this revered city of Nidaros (now Trondheim) and shrine of Saint Olav, who heralded a new era of Christianity and unification in this land even though he did not live to see the fruits of his labour. His son, Magnus the Good, built the first wooden church on this site and it quickly became a place of pilgrimage. Already by the year 1060 a liturgy dedicated to Saint Olav was in use as far away as Northumberland in Britain. In the Orthodox Church too, the memory of Saint Olav is greatly venerated: to his intercession was attributed the survival of the Imperial Guard of Constantinople in an hour of danger when it went into battle with Emperor Alexos against the Bulgars.
The Eucharist has been the focus of countless numbers of people who have come here down the centuries. In the Eucharist we receive Christ, who instituted this Sacrament so that he might remain with us and live in us. Could there possibly be any greater gift? Christ redeemed the world with the Sacrifice of his Body and Blood. In doing so, he provides us with food and drink for eternal life. This sacramental food, under the signs of bread and wine, truly “refreshes our souls”. Indeed it leads us along the paths of faith, hope and charity all the days of our life so that we can “live in the house of the Lord”.
“The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want” (Ps 23,1).
504 Today’s liturgy places these words of the Psalmist on the lips of the children who are going to receive their First Holy Communion at this Mass. It is only right that they should pray these beautiful words today when Our Lord and Saviour prepares a Eucharistic table for them for the first time. The words “The Lord is my shepherd” express an unlimited hope which they can repeat whenever they receive Jesus, the Bread of life.
2. The Scripture readings for this Mass set before us the figure of the Good Shepherd. The Prophets of the Old Testament use this image to speak about the God who had freed his Chosen People, Israel, from slavery in Egypt and had shown them special love. God is the Shepherd who cares for the sheep, watching them lest they scatter. He feeds his flock, looking for “green pastures” so that they may graze well. He even finds quiet places where they can rest undisturbed. With loving care he looks after the whole flock – not only all the sheep but also each one individually. He is concerned with, the welfare of every lamb and every sheep in his care. This is the image of the Good Shepherd which the Prophet Ezekiel portrays in our first reading.
In the fullness of time Jesus confirmed and perfected the prophetic vision of the Good Shepherd by laying down his life for the sheep (Cfr. Io Jn 10,11). This refers to his Sacrifice on the Cross, by which he gave himself for the life of the world (Cfr. ibid. 6, 51) – for all and for each one individually. Of this Saint Paul writes: “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rm 5,8). By dying Christ offered himself in sacrifice to the Father and through this redeeming sacrifice he revealed the Father’s love for us.Saint Paul teaches that we were reconciled to God by the death of Jesus and justified by his blood. Now that we are reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Cfr. ibid. 5, 9-10). This is the mystery of God’s love for his sheep – his infinite, unchanging love – which prompts him to go in search of the one that is lost (Cfr. Luc Lc 15,4).
This mystery was further revealed to us the night before Christ’s death on the Cross when he instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. The Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Calvary sacramentally realized on our altars, whereby the Crucified and Risen Son of God is still alive among us. It is precisely his risen life which he wishes to communicate to us. As true God and true man, he shares this new life with us in the Eucharist, when we receive him under the appearances of bread and wine.
3. I am told that sheep can be seen grazing nearly everywhere in Norway from early spring to late autumn. Undoubtedly, they will often stray in dangerous places, and if they wander too far they risk being lost or falling prey to other dangers. In our journey through life, we too risk getting lost. We hear so many conflicting voices calling us one way or another. So today it is appropriate for each one of us to ask ourselves: Where do I really stand? Am I one of the lost sheep that needs to be carried home on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd? He is always searching for us, calling us to turn away from the false and misleading roads along which we may wander. He is always calling us to repentance: to a restoration of communion with God and with one another when we have sinned, and to ever greater holiness as members of his Church.
Through conversion we must also grow in love and respect for the whole of Christ’s flock. Compared to many other places, Norway is a rich country. The very name Trondheim reminds us of this – it means “riches of the earth”. Many people look with admiration at your democratic society. Social trends in your country attract worldwide attention. In this context, however, you are called not to forget the children, the sick, the handicapped and the elderly. All people deserve and need to be cared for as God’s loved ones; they constitute a treasure from which we all benefit. The best gift you can give your children is a heart that is fully human, a heart that is sensitive to good and evil. The best gift you can give the sick, the handicapped and the elderly is the respect due to them as sons and daughters of the same heavenly Father. They deserve your time, your individual attention and your love. Their example and their patience will enrich your own lives and the lives of all who approach them with compassionate concern.
4. My brothers and sisters: I know that most of you who have come here today to celebrate your unity in faith with the Successor of Saint Peter belong to small congregations. Many of you probably live far from a church. You have experienced what it means to belong to a religious minority, especially since many of the Catholics in Central Norway come from abroad. Those of you from other countries may miss the language, culture and way of life of your homeland, and also the familiar Catholic Church with her prayers, hymns and ceremonies. But I want to tell each of you that the Pope, the Church’s Universal Pastor, loves you. He comes in the name of Christ, the Good Shepherd, and you have a special place in his heart.
He admires your fidelity and perseverance. And today he is here to encourage you to put all your trust in God’s love!
Sett all deres tillit til Guds kjärlighet.
Hay dat tronniem tin vào tinh yêu cua Chúa.
Poned toda vuestra confianza en el amor de Dios.
505 Zlózcie cala wasza, nadzije w Milosci Boga!
Those of you who are Norwegian by birth and ancestry realize that immigrants too add to the riches of the nation. In the best traditions of this country, you have given your new citizens a chance to begin again in freedom, with all the opportunities that society offers. In this way, you set a noble example for others to follow. Human diversity enriches every level of society, and so I encourage the whole community to continue to grant those who have settled in your midst a real place in society by according them the respect and the rights which you yourselves enjoy.
5. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which we celebrate today invites us to see and love Christ in all people, and to reflect his love for them in our own lives. For generations the Church has prayed: “Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto thine”. Today I wish to recall this familiar prayer and to recite it on your behalf: Jesus, make our hearts like unto thine. And in doing so, I give special thanks to God for the example of the Picpus Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts, who for more than fifty years have supplied this region with priests and have done so often under very difficult conditions. Dear Brothers: Today, on your great feast, I encourage you in your priestly ministry and I offer you the gratitude of the whole Church for your generosity and zeal.
I also wish to thank the Sisters of the religious congregations who have shown the love of Christ in a remarkable way to everyone but especially to the children, the sick and the elderly. The service you have given is a living sermon which can be understood by all. May the Good Shepherd continue to watch over you and bless you in your commitment.
6. My final words today are addressed to the children: Kjaere dere barn som gar til kommunion for første gang idag.
Denne dagen er en viktig begivenhet for dere. For første gang far dere invitasjon til a ga til kommunion. Jeg er litt overrasket over a se hvor mange land dere kommer fra.Mange av dere snakker ikk ebare norsk, men ogsa vietnamesisk, polsk, spansk, engelsk eller andre sprak. De foreldre og prester som har gitt dere undervisning, har fortalt meg at dere har hatt det veldig fint sammen.Dette er et forbilde for den voksne i hele verden. Dere viser at alle mennesker hører til kirkens fellesskap.
Vi er samlet her fordi Jesus kaller pa oss - slik han kalte pa tolleren Sakkeus. Jesus vil feire en fest sammen med oss. Og han gir oss i gave det beste han har i sitt hellige legeme og sitt hellige blod.
Forberedelsene til denne dagen har gitt dere mye glede. Ta vare pa den. Deres prester, foreldre og ungdommene vil sikkert hjelpe dere med det.
Helt till slutt vil jeg rette noen ord til dere foreldre. Mange av dere har hjulpet til med a forberede denne dagen, og jeg takker dere av hele mitt hjerte. Samtidig vil jeg be dere om a gjøre alt dere kan for at barna deres kan finne et hjem i kirkens fellesskap.
S. John Paul II Homil. 495