S. John Paul II Homil. 556



EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION IN DUNCUNHA STADIUM Maumere (Indonesia) Wednesday, 11 October 1989


1. Saudara-Saudara yang terkasih dalam Yesus Kristus,

Saya begitu gembira dapat mempersembahkan kurban Ekaristi - yang merupakan pusat dan puncak dari kesatuan kita - di bumi Maumere yang terberkati ini, berkumpul sebagai umat Allah bersama Santo Bapa dan Para Uskup dari daerah ini, termasuk gembala Keuskupan Agung Ende, Monsignor Donatus Djagom. Pada hari ini nyatalah kasih persaudaraan kita.

“Who is like the Lord, our God,
who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down,
to look down upon heaven and earth?” (
Ps 113,5-6)

The psalmist sings of the greatness of God, the God whose praise is chanted by all creation. He is the Creator in whom all things have their origin – “in whom we live and move and have our being” (cfr. Ac 17,28). Man bears witness to God, in whose image he is created. Man proclaims God’s holiness, his power, his wisdom. He proclaims God’s merciful love: the love that “stoops from the heights” to look down upon human suffering and humiliation:

“From the dust he lifts up the lowly,
from his misery he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes,
yes, with the princes of his peoples” (Ps 113,7-8).

In the great act of adoring God there is one who excels all others: Mary – she who was chosen to be the earthly Mother of God’s Son, the Eternal Word.

When she visited the house of Elizabeth, her kinswoman, the Virgin of Nazareth joins the Psalmist in praising the God who puts down “the mighty from their thrones” and exalts “the lowly”, who fills “the hungry with good things” and sends “the rich away empty” (Cfr. Lc 1,52-53). Her song is the “Magnificat”, which the Church repeats from generation to generation. At every Evening Prayer we make this hymn our own:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is on those who fear him” (Ibid. Lc 1,45-47 Lc 1,49-50).

2. Since Mary is the Mother of Christ, her witness to her Son is unique. She alone experienced the mystery of the Incarnation at the very moment of conception. She gave birth to her Son at Bethlehem. She gave him the name Jesus, which means “Saviour”. She offered him to the Lord in the Temple forty days after his birth. Together with Joseph she protected him from King Herod’s cruelty by fleeing into Egypt. In the house at Nazareth she watched Jesus “increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man” (Cfr. Lc 2,52). And when Mary found her divine Son at the age of twelve in the Temple, he told her that he had “to be about his Father’s business” (Cfr. ibid. 2, 49). Her heart awaited the realization of his “business” in keeping with her words at the Annunciation: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Ibid.1, 38).

The Gospel of today’s liturgy recalls an event which took place during a wedding at Cana, where for the first time Mary bore public witness to the divine power of her Son. She says to him, “They have no wine” (Jn 2,3). Even though he seems to respond negatively, Mary is confident of her Son’s goodness and says to the servants: “Do whatever he tells you” (Ibid. 2, 5). When the servants carry out Jesus’ command, the water with which they had filled the jars proves to be excellent wine. So it was that at Cana in Galilee Jesus performed “the first of his signs” (Ibid. 2, 11) which revealed the true nature of his person and mission.

559 At the foot of the Cross, a new phase begins in Mary’s witness to Jesus. When Mary was given to the beloved disciple as his Mother, she was also given to the Church. She devotes herself to prayer with the apostles in the Upper Room, while awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. And when the apostles, having received “power from on high” (Lc 24,49), left the Upper Room in Jerusalem to bear witness to Christ Crucified and Risen, the example and intercession of the Lord’s Mother accompanied them everywhere. This unique witness continues to strengthen the Church from generation to generation.

3. Dear brothers and sisters, in the course of time the praises of Mary’s faith also reached your beloved Island of Flores, the Island of Flowers. It was the Portuguese who founded the first Christian communities here in the sixteenth century. Those beginnings were not easy. Many priests, religious and laity gave their lives for the faith through martyrdom. In difficult times the laity continued to hold fast to that faith even when priests and religious were not readily available. In this regard I gladly recall the recent celebrations in the Diocese of Amboina of the centenary of the return of the Church to that province of the Moluccas.

Today you are continuing that faithful witness to Christ through your daily efforts to live the Gospel in the holiness of family life, in building a better society, in strengthening the love that should always mark the life of the ecclesial community. As active members of your local Churches, you involve yourselves in your parishes, in the lay apostolate, and in the efforts that are being made to strengthen Christian family life. Many gifts of the Spirit are to be found among you for building up Christ’s Body, the Church, and for transforming the world from within with the power of God’s love. With Mary we rejoice at all the wonderful things that God has done in your midst in the past four hundred years.

A particular sign of your faithfulness is the increasing number of your sons and daughters generously dedicated to God’s service as priests and religious. Many of them are the missionaries of today, who preach God’s word in all Indonesia and even in other countries.

Mary’s prayers accompany you on your pilgrimage of faith. Your loving response to her maternal care is expressed in your devotion to “Tuan Ma” at Larantuka, to Mother Mary of Fatima at Lela and Watulaji, to Mother Mary of Lourdes at Detusoko, and to Holy Mary Patroness of the Missions at Cancar. This devotion has been rooted for centuries in the mind and heart of your people. I recall that, among other things, in the eighteenth century the King of Larantuka entrusted his kingdom to Mother Mary, Reinha Rosari and Reinha Larantuka. Solemn acts of dedication also took place at Lela and Sikka in 1947 and again at Sikka in 1949.

Thus the long history of the Church in Nusa Tenggara Timur is filled with the presence of Mary, who intercedes with her Son for you and urges you to “do whatever he tells you” as the Gospel says.

4. What is Christ asking of you today? What does it mean to bear witness to him? It means to communicate divine life to the world, to heal and elevate the dignity of the human person, to build up society in justice, peace and love. It means to bring a deeper meaning and a higher purpose to temporal concerns and daily activities (Cfr. Gaudium et Spes GS 40).

Dear brothers and sisters, as Catholics and Indonesians you are taking a full part in the life of your country by working courageously to promote the common good and to remedy social problems. It is above all the laity who are called to illumine and organize temporal affairs, imbuing them with the spirit of the Gospel, so that the whole life of the community may effectively uphold and promote the dignity and rights of its members. You understand the enormity of the task facing your country in providing better education and training, more jobs and just wages, and a more equitable distribution of the advantages of economic and cultural development. Here in Nusa Tenggara Timur you also have an opportunity to cooperate in the Operassi Nusa Makmur in order to safeguard and improve the environment.

Society has a pressing need of your authentic witness to those values which are capable of transforming it for the benefit of all. Your Christian faith urges you to be involved in this great undertaking to the full measure of your talents and resources, and in harmony with the social doctrine of the Church.

At the same time faith tells us that we can effectively promote unity and cooperation in society only if we ourselves are reconciled with God and neighbour. We find the path to authentic human development if we recognize the importance of spiritual realities in our lives and our need to turn away from selfishness and sin. It is a process which begins with our own spiritual conversion. Mary proclaimed the true meaning of all human existence when she called herself “the handmaid of the Lord”. We too must recognize that we are creatures in the service of God’s loving plan, called to live a life worthy of our supernatural vocation.

5. “Praise, O servants of the Lord,
560 praise the name of the Lord” (Ps 113,1).

Yes, among all God’s servants it is Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, who excels in the adoration offered to God by peoples and nations, by the whole human family.

“From the rising of the sun to its setting
praised be the name of the Lord” (Ibid. 3).

The Mother of Christ proclaims everywhere the “great things” that the Almighty has accomplished in her. “From generation to generation” she bears witness to God’s love for the world. Indeed, he loved the world so much “that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3,16).

Mary, the Mother of this Son in the mystery of the Incarnation, never ceases to intercede with him for our salvation. Here on the Island of Flores she never ceases to speak to the hearts of all her sons and daughters: “Do whatever he tells you”.

Flores, Nusa Bunga, sebuah nama yang indah! Namun di balik nama ini terselit satu tugas yang berat untuk anda kalian, yaity menyebarkan kembang-kembang iman, menyebarkan keharuman Kristus sendiri di mana pun Anda berada dan kemana pun Anda pergi, agar semua orang dapat mengalami keselamatan Allah. Semoga Tuhan selalu menyertai Anda sekalian. Bunda Maria, doakanlah kami.




Dili (Indonesia)

Thursday, 12 October 1989

Maun alin ho bin feton sira,

1. "Imi masin rain nian... Imi naroman mundo nian" (Mt 5,13-14).

561 Lia fuan hirak ne'e, Jesus nia Lia fuan, nebe hato'o ba nia escolante sira. Ohin Amo Bispo Roma nian, hato'o ba imi. Cristo nia escolante iha Timor loro sa'e, Diocese Dili. Hosi lia fuan hirak ne'e, ita moris hamutuk iha dalan ida deit; hosi lia fuan hirak ne'e ita simu naroman atu moris nudar sarani.

Nudar Amo Bispo Roma nian no S. Pedro nia saseluk, hau hato'o hau lia Ksolok nian ba imi hotu nebe halibur an iha ne'e, hosi Dili, hosi Atambua no hosi Kupang. Ha'u hato'o, hau nia Saudacao ba Administrador Apostolico Dili nian, Bispo Belo, ba Bispo Pain Ratu no Manteiro no Nai lulik sira hotu, religioso hotu-hotu no sarani tomak iha Diocese rai Timor nia laran.

Imi wain mai hosi dok ho susar no terus hosi imi uma kain, hosi Timor loro sa'e no Loro monu atu harosu hamutuk ho Amo Papa. Hau fo obrigado ba imi hotu, liu-liu ba imi nebe serviso maka'as atu ohin ita bele hasoru malu.

Dear brothers and sisters:

Peter’s special ministry to “strengthen his brethren” has brought me to East Timor today. It was to Peter that Christ said before the Passion: “when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren” (
Lc 22,32). During the Master’s Passion Peter had been weak, but the Lord called him, nevertheless, to shepherd the flock (Cfr. Io Jn 21,15-19) and for this he gave him a special grace to become “light” and “salt” in the service of all who believe in Christ. I come to you as a witness of Christ and an elder in the family of the faith (Cfr. 1Petr. 5, 1). From the very beginning of my pontificate I have followed your situation with deep concern. It has long been my wish to express to you that the whole Church, and the Pope in a particular way, holds you in esteem and in affection. Now I am filled with joy at being able to celebrate this Eucharist with you here at Tasi-Tolu.

2. Let us consider the meaning that Jesus attaches to the images “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”. In Timor you are very familiar with salt. You extract it along the coastal plains of Cassaid, Tibar, Manatuto, Sical and from the salt lake at Laga. Salt preserves food and enhances its flavour. In the Gospel “salt” refers to preservation from the corruption of sin and death. It refers to the spiritual wholeness of every disciple whose duty it is to enliven and elevate humanity with the assistance of divine grace.

The image of “light” refers not only to the wisdom that comes from the revelation of divine truth, but also to everyday wisdom in action. It is the wisdom that comes from the experience of life as well as the wisdom that gives life: the wisdom that enlightens those who live by faith. Wherever this “light” is found it shapes human life and conduct, and leads people to God.

This is the wisdom that marks the lives of the saints. That is why each saint is a light that cannot be hidden “under a bushel”, but must be put “on a stand, where it gives light to all in the house” (Cfr. Mt 5,15). The saints give light to all of us in the Church, which is God’s House on this earth. And many times their light shines beyond the Church to other people and places.

3. The words “you are the salt of the earth... you are the light of the world” are directed by the Lord to all his disciples, to all those who “by one Spirit were baptized into one body” (Cfr. 1Cor 1Co 12,13), which is the Church. To the eyes of the world, the Church is a visible society of people. But by faith we know that this Church is also the Body of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

By the power of that same Spirit, all of us work together in building up the Church through a “variety of ministries” and through Christian witness in keeping with each one’s particular vocation (Ibid. 12, 4-7). This is so because “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (Ibid.12, 7). Therefore when we heed Christ’s call to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” we help to build up the Church not only in our local communities, but as the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church spread throughout the world. For the Church is one in all the earth and the same in every place. She is both “universal” and “local”. Such is the result of the Spirit’s action, in which is manifested “the same God who inspires everything in everyone” (Cfr. ibid. 12, 6).

4. What does it mean to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” in East Timor today? For many years now, you have experienced destruction and death as a result of conflict; you have known what it means to be victims of hatred and struggle. Many innocent people have died, while others have been prey to retaliation and revenge. For too long you have been suffering a lack of stability which has rendered your future uncertain. This distressing situation causes economic difficulties which, in spite of some relief, still exist, preventing the development needed to alleviate the burden which still weighs hardly on the population.

562 Respect for the rights which render life more human must be firmly ensured: the rights of individuals and the rights of families. I pray that those who have responsibility for life in East Timor will act with wisdom and good will towards all, as they search for a just and peaceful resolution of present difficulties in order to bring about a speedy improvement of conditions of life which will permit you to live in social harmony, according to your own traditions and requirements, in serene and fruitful productivity.

5. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: Who will be the salt that preserves life in the midst of death, if not you? Who will be a light that radiates wisdom in the midst of darkness, if not you who have remained steadfast in the faith since the Gospel was first preached here four centuries ago? Your land is much in need of Christian healing and reconciliation. But the ecclesial community itself must be a reconciled community if it is to fulfil the important role that springs from Christ’s words: “you are the salt... you are the light”. It is not always easy to find the courage, determination and patience needed for reconciliation. Yet we know in faith that love transcends every boundary between nations, peoples, and cultures. No matter what the differences, no matter what the grievances or injuries, we who are Christ’s followers must take to heart his words: “Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (
Lc 6,37); “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5,44).

You who are Catholics in East Timor have a tradition in which family life, education and social customs are deeply rooted in the Gospel, and this tradition is a great part of your identity. Yours is a tradition imbued with the teachings and spirit of the Beatitudes, one of humble trust in God, of mercy and forgiveness, and, when necessary, of patient suffering in time of trial (Cfr. ibid. 5, 3-10). There are situations in which the ecclesial community needs to be especially capable of living the evangelical message of love and reconciliation.The strength to do so comes from interior conversion. Only when we are reborn in the Spirit do we understand the force of the Gospel words: “Blessed are the meek... Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness... Blessed are the peacemakers...” (Mt 5,5 Mt 5,6 Mt 5,9). The call to be “salt” and “light” is no easy task. It is nothing less than the call to be fully “mature in Christ” (Col 1,28).

Furthermore, your parishes, your catechesis, your Catholic schools, your small communities and other forms of association, all have a role to play in educating for a strong family life which respects God’s plan for life and love, for honesty and competence in the world of work and public affairs, for virtue and goodness in all areas of human endeavour. You must show yourselves worthy of your Christian calling, which is a call to holiness, to prayer, to the practice of the sacraments and to the self-sacrifice without which discipleship is impossible. I urge you to persevere in your calling. I exhort you all to live “ in the bond of peace ”, in union with the Pope and with the Apostolic Administrator and priests of your diocese, who have been so generous in their work in these difficult years. The Lord who sees and knows all things will reward the Religious Brothers and Sisters, and those members of the laity who have been specially committed to serving the needs of others. A special word of esteem must go to the valiant missionaries who have stayed near to the people in the most trying moments of your recent history, bearing witness to the love that they have for the Church, for the pilgrim People of God in Timor.

I am aware that the theme for your weekly Holy Hours in preparation for my visit has been: “Neon ida deit, lara nida deit” (Cfr. Ac 4,32). These words indicate the path which the Church in Dili must follow in order to respond to the special challenges of today. Unity in faith, expressed and nourished especially in Eucharistic Communion, will lead you to a communion of charity and solidarity with others, and will help you to live the evangelical commandment of love through the practical works of mercy and justice needed on this island. Timor, strong in evangelical love, is certainly capable of fulfilling its mission to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” (Mt 5,16).

6. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven ”.

It is not the Pope alone who calls you to this task. These are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ himself. He challenges you, but he also promises his presence and his grace. He is with you always.

And there is someone else who accompanies the people of Timor on their pilgrimage as they journey day by day to God’s Kingdom: Mary, your Mother in the Church. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of the Diocese of Dili and of your new Cathedral, which I have been happy to bless today. She intercedes for the spiritual healing of her Timorese sons and daughters. The Catholics of East Timor who have sung her praises down the centuries can be sure of her maternal care at this time of uncertainty and much needed reconciliation and peace.

On life’s pilgrimage, walk with Mary. Then, following her example, and filled with the Spirit “who renews the face of the earth” (Ps 104,30), the whole People of God in Timor will repeat the joyful words of the Responsorial Psalm:

“Bless the Lord, my soul!...
May the Glory of the Lord last for ever!
563 May the Lord rejoice in his works!” (Ibid. 1. 31).

Tebes, atu Eucaristia nebe oras ne'e ita halo daudaun, bele tulun ema hotu iha rai ida ne'e, atu hotu bele nakfilak an los liu "ho fuan ida no nean ida", nudar kota hari iha foho leten, nebe la monu, nudar naroman nebe leno ema hotu iha uma laran. Atu Espirito lia los nian bele lori ba rohan Knar ida ne'e. Amen.




Tuntungan (Indonesia)

Friday, 13 October 1989

1. Putera-puteriku dari Sumatera yang terkasih dalam Tuhan kita Yesus Kristus, Horas.

Saya begitu gembira dabat mempersembahkan kurban Ekaristi ini, yang merupakan pusat dan puncak dari kesatuan kita, dibumi Sumatera yang terberkati ini. Dengan menyampaikan kata salam istimewa kepada para Uskup Anda, Lebih-lebih kepada Uskup Agung Medan, Monsignor Pius Datubara, Saya ucapkan selamat kepada anda semua. Juga kepada saudara-saudara Kristen Protestant dengan paduan suara mereka pada hari ini di antara kasih persaudaraan kita. Pada hari ini nyatalah kasih persaudaraan kita.

As we come together in this beautiful setting of Tuntungan, let us rejoice at the marvellous fruitfulness with which the Church has been blessed in Sumatra. Today there are approximately seven hundred thousand Catholics in the Archdiocese of Medan and in the Dioceses of Sibolga, Padang, Pangkalpinang, Palembang and Tanjung Karang. From humble missionary beginnings just over a hundred and fifty years ago, the seed of faith which was sown among the various peoples of this island has grown into one great tree. In her own unique way, the Church too is an example of what is stated in the national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika: “unity in diversity”.

It is with gratitude to God that, together with the Psalmist, we proclaim:
“the word of the Lord is faithful
564 and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right
and fills the earth with his love” (
Ps 33,4-5).
The Lord who fills the earth with his love is a God who loves justice and right.

2. In today’s Gospel one of the doctors of the Law puts the question to Jesus: “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”. But this question is not his alone. It is asked by people of every generation, nation, culture and language. It is a question about eternal life, about the future of man after death. In asking “what must I do?”, “how should I behave?”, men and women of every time and place acknowledge that life beyond the grave depends on how well we live this earthly life. We know that God is the one who rewards goodness and punishes evil.

The Church in Sumatra is happy that this certitude is shared by all the people of the region: with our Christian brothers and sisters who believe in the same Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and also with the followers of Islam who believe in the same good and just God. To them, our Muslim brothers and sisters, I address warm greetings, hoping that we will be as one in praising the Most High God and will work together so that future generations in Sumatra may live in a society marked by respect for God and his commandments. Truly, he is the Lord who loves “ justice and right ”.

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” In the Gospel Jesus does not directly answer the question. He has no need to, since the man who asked it was a doctor of the Law and knew very well what is written there. The man himself provided the right answer by quoting the commandment of love already present in the Old Testament: (Cfr. Deut Dt 6,4-6 et Lv 19,18) “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself ” (Lc 10,27).

Jesus confirms the correctness of this reply: “You have answered right; do this, and you will live” (Ibid. 10, 28), that is, you will have eternal life.

3. But then the lawyer goes on to ask a further question of Jesus: “Who is my neighbour?”. In order to answer this, the Lord makes use of the parable of the Good Samaritan, which graphically depicts how we ought to treat every person if we wish to live by God’s commandment of love.

Through this moving parable Christ is telling us that we must behave like the Samaritan. We must be open to others, we must approach them, be concerned for them, and help especially those who are most in need.

Our model for this behaviour is the compassion and mercy which we ourselves have received from God. For the parable of the Good Samaritan is first and foremost a message concerning the person of Jesus Christ himself. Christ, the Son of God, is the Good Samaritan par excellence: he is the Saviour who finds humanity half-dead by the roadside and stops to heal our wounds. By his death on the Cross, he revealed “the tender mercy of our God” (Lc 1,78), who desires that all men be saved. By his Resurrection, he restored us to life, to spiritual health. And in return he invites us to love others as he himself has loved us.

565 Our love of neighbour, then, is nothing other than our response to the love with which God has first loved us. We who have been shown compassion surely cannot refuse it to others. Nor may we forget that whatever we do for those in need we do to Christ himself (Cfr. Mt 25,40). On the night before he died, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, and told them that he had given them an example, that “they also should do as he had done” (Cfr. Io Jn 13,15). Through our love of neighbour, we not only imitate the love of Christ for us, we also fulfil his supreme commandment of love.

In Christ, love of neighbour is the highest expression of the solidarity which binds together all people throughout the world. This solidarity is not just a vague emotion; it is a reality rooted in Christ’s Incarnation. For by “assuming human nature (Christ) united all humanity to himself in a supernatural solidarity which makes us one single family. He has made charity the distinguishing mark of his disciples, in the words: 'By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another' (Ibid. Jn 13,35)” (Apostolicam Actuositatem AA 8). Christ teaches a love that is universal, for all persons are neighbours to one another, regardless of origin, race, culture or religion.

4. Today’s first reading from the Letter to the Hebrews gives some concrete examples of human need when it exhorts us: “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality... Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you also are in the body” (He 13,1-3). In different ways, each of these commands echoes the golden rule which the Lord taught in the Sermon on the Mount: “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them” (Mt 7,12).

To the stranger and the imprisoned we can add the sick, the disabled, the aged, orphans, and all those who are poor, oppressed or rejected in the world.

I know that in Sumatra you are working hard to promote a more human society through economic development and greater social justice. Your Christian vocation challenges and inspires you to do all you can to further these worthy goals. Your yearning for God’s Kingdom should increase, not diminish your desire to humanize the earth in anticipation of the world to come. You have a Christian responsibility to contribute to authentic human development, to promote greater justice, love and peace, to bring to the world a vision of unity based on the dignity of every human being created in the image and likeness of God (Cfr. Gaudium et Spes GS 33-45). I recommend this particular task and responsibility to you, sons and daughters of the Church in Sumatra, so that here in this land the principle underlined by the Second Vatican Council will take hold: “In the socio-economic realm, too, the dignity and total vocation of the human person must be honoured and advanced along with the welfare of society as a whole. For man is the source, the centre, and the purpose of all socio-economic life” (Ibid. GS 63).

As Catholics, you help to give economic and social development a human soul, a human heart, by bringing to it the compassion and personal commitment of the Good Samaritan. This is a task which you share with the members of other Christian Churches as you seek greater mutual understanding and collaboration with them, bearing in mind the strength of the bonds that unite us in Christ through our Baptism and our common profession of him as Lord and Saviour. Indeed, by joining with all believers in bearing witness to God, the “Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” (2Co 1,3), you show yourselves to be loving neighbours to all. For it is no small kindness to remind others of the primacy of God in their lives. Without belief in God there can be no enduring love of neighbour, no true human development, no lasting peace.

5. The doctor of the law asked Jesus, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”. This is the most fundamental of all questions, for as the Letter to the Hebrews tells us: “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come” (He 13,14). Our earthly existence has no meaning without reference to the fullness of that life which is to come.

Christ has shown us the way to that life. He taught us a new norm of conduct. The parable of the Good Samaritan, with its message of universal love of neighbour, is the foundation of a new concept of relations between people and of life in society. In the power of Christ’s love, people’s lives are transformed, making them worthy heirs of eternal life.

In this part of the world where the hope of eternal life is strong among the followers of all religions, it is only right to ask the whole of Sumatran society to unite in defending and fostering the religious character of life and its openness to transcendent values. Christians, as well as the followers of Islam, are called to be heralds of this supreme good and to share it with those who have lost it. Be proud to bear witness to other peoples – beyond the sea, to the far off islands – that this dynamic people is built on the foundation stone of the primacy of God and his promises.

The Lord who fills the earth with his love is a God who loves justice and right.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: May the entire Church in Sumatra draw courage to live and grow in the spirit of the Good Samaritan. May all assembled here at this solemn Eucharistic celebration in Medan seek in every way to follow faithfully the word of the Lord, and to serve him in “justice and right”. For he is the Lord – the Lord who fills the earth with his love (Cfr. Ps. Ps 33,5). Amen.

566 Semoga karena Gereja Katolik semua orang dan masyarakat, khususnya mereka yang miskin dan lemah, bergembira, memuliakan dan memuji Tuhan. Semoga Gereja di Sumatera membantu masyarakat menmukan keadilan dan memuliakan martabat manusia. Semoga Tuhan memberkati Anda semua.

S. John Paul II Homil. 556