S. John Paul II Homil. 1275


Sunday, 13 May 2001

1. "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn 13,35).

The Gospel for the Fifth Sunday in the Easter Season takes us back to the intimacy of the Upper Room. There Christ, during the Last Supper, instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist and the Priesthood of the New Covenant, and bequeathed to his disciples the "new commandment" of love. We relive today the intense spiritual atmosphere of that extraordinary hour. The Lord's words to his disciples are addressed particularly to you, dear candidates for the priesthood, who are invited to receive his testament of love and service this morning.

We gather around you with affection. Close to you first of all are your relatives and friends, to whom I extend my most cordial greeting. The whole diocesan community of Rome, in which you carried out your formation, is gathered round you in spirit. The rectors and directors of formation of the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary, of the Almo Collegio Capranica, of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, of the Seminary of the Oblates Sons of Our Lady of Divine Love, of the Identes Missionary Institute and of the Institute of the Sons of St Anne.

With special recognition I turn to those who have supervised your formation. The Cardinal Vicar spoke on their behalf at the beginning of this celebration. Through him, to whom I am deeply grateful, I would like to extend my warm gratitude to those in the Dioccese who actively work in the vocational field.

1276 2. "Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified" (Jn 13,31).

While the liturgy urges us to dwell in the Upper Room in interior contemplation, let us once again listen to the Evangelist John who, ever attentive to the echoes of Christ's heart, cites the words he spoke after Judas Iscariot went out. Jesus speaks of the glory that the Father and the Son render to each other in the Easter mystery.

Dear deacons, today Christ invites you to enter into his glory and not to seek any other glory outside of it. For you too, this is a decisive "hour". Indeed, ordination is the moment when Christ, through consecration in the Holy Spirit, associates you in a special way with his priesthood for the world's salvation. Each of you is chosen to glorify God in persona Christi Capitis. Like Christ and united with him, you will glorify God and will be glorified by him, offering yourselves for the world's salvation (cf. Jn Jn 6,51), loving to the end the persons whom the Father entrusts to you (cf. Jn 13,3) and washing one another's feet (cf. Jn Jn 13,14).

The Lord presents his commandment to you in a new way: "as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (Jn 13,34). It is a gift and a commandment for you: a gift of Christ's yoke that is easy and light (cf. Mt Mt 11,30); a commitment always to take this yoke upon yourselves first, humbly becoming models for the flock (cf. 1P 5,3) entrusted to you by the Good Shepherd. You must constantly turn to him for help. You must always be inspired by his example.

3. Today, thinking back to the rich experience of the Jubilee Year, I would like once again to present to you symbolically the Apostolic Letter Novo millennio ineunte, which outlines the Church's path in this new period of history. It is up to you to guide the steps of the Christian people with generous dedication, specifically taking into account two important areas of pastoral commitment: "starting afresh from Christ" (ibid., nn. 29-41) and being "witnesses to Love" (ibid., nn. 42-57). In this second field, marked by communion and charity, what is decisive is the "Christian community's ability to make room for all the gifts of the Spirit", by encouraging "all the baptized and confirmed to be aware of their active responsibility in the Church's life" (ibid., n. 46).

This is "vocational promotion" in its broadest and most fundamental sense, which must be vast and widely distributed among all members of the community. It is a matter of increasingly awakening and fostering a "vocational mentality", which is expressed in a personal and community style based on listening and the discernment of a generous response to God who calls. Dear candidates to the priesthood, your vocations are also the fruit of the Church's prayer, as well as of the assiduous and patient work of so many labourers of the Lord's harvest, who have hoed, sown and cared for the ground, for you too. Your perseverance is linked to this spiritual solidarity, which must never be lacking in the Church. For this reason, I would like here to thank all who, in silence and with their daily thoughts, offer their prayer and suffering for priests and for vocations.

4. Paul and Barnabus "returned to Lystra, to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to remain strong in the faith, and saying to them that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" (Ac 14,21-22). In a few words here is the call of the Christian community, "to remain strong in the faith", in the face of trials and many tribulations, necessary in order to "enter the kingdom of God" (Ac 14,21-22).

Dear ordinands, in the awareness of your mission, strive for holiness and spread love. Be first and foremost "in love with the Church", the Church on earth and that in heaven, looking to her with faith and love, despite the spots and wrinkles that can mark her human face. In her, may you see "the holy city, the new Jerusalem", which as the Apostle says in the Book of Revelation, is "coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her bridegroom" (Ap 21,2).

The Acts of the Apostles stress the bonds the missionaries have with the community. The community is the vital environment from which they set out and to which they return: from it they receive, so to speak, the incentive, and they bring back to it the experience they have lived, recognizing the signs of God's action in the mission. The priest is not the man of his own personal initiatives; he is the minister of the Gospel in the name of the Church. His apostolic activity takes its origin from the Church and returns to the Church.

5. Dear new ordinands, may you never lack the prayerful support of the community. Paul and Barnabus "had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled" (Ac 14,26). Today, dear friends, you too are "commended to the grace of the Lord" for the mission you must carry out in the Church: to be stewards of Christ the Priest and Shepherd among his People. The community in Rome is praying for you. May the holy Apostles Peter and Paul intercede for you. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Salus Populi Romani, Mother of Priests, intercede for you.

Supported and encouraged by the communion of deep prayer, set out! Put out into the deep with courage, your sails filled with the breath of the Holy Spirit. In this way you will rejoice for all that the Lord achieves through you (cf. Acts Ac 14,27) and will experience even in the midst of trials and difficulties the greatness and joy of your mission. So be it!


Sunday, 20 May 2001

1. "The Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and call to mind all that I have said" (
Jn 14,26). It is the great promise made by Jesus during the Last Supper. While the hour of the Cross draws near, He assures the Apostles that they will not remain alone: the Holy Spirit will be with them, the Paraclete, who will sustain them in their great mission of bearing the announcement of the Gospel into the whole world.
In the original Greek language, the word Paraclete means someone who stands alongside, to protect and sustain the one assisted. Jesus returns to his Father, but continues his work of teaching and of directing his disciples by means of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In what does the mission of the promised Holy Spirit consist? As we heard a short while ago in the Gospel of St John, Jesus himself states: "He will teach you all things and call to mind all that I have said" (Jn 14,26). Jesus already communicated all he intended to entrust to the Apostles: with him, the Word Incarnate, revelation is complete. The Spirit will make them "call to mind", meaning to understand fully and to put Jesus' teachings into practice. It is what is still happening today in the Church. As the Second Vatican Council affirmed, guided and supported by the light and power of the Holy Spirit, "the Church in the course of the centuries tends unceasingly to the fullness of the divine truth, so the words of God reach their fulfilment in her" (Dei verbum, DV 8).

2. Beloved brothers and sisters of the parish of St Edith Stein, I am happy to be with you on the Sixth Sunday of Easter time and to celebrate the Eucharist with you. I greet with affection the Cardinal Vicar, the Archbishop Vicegerent, your zealous parish priest, Fr Stephen Ranfi, his collaborators and all the faithful of this young parish. My particular thanks go to those who, in your name, have offered me words of welcome and good wishes for my 81st birthday which was just a few days ago. Eighty-one years is quite something. I trust that you will continue to pray for me so that I can accomplish the ministry entrusted to me with a total submission to the designs of divine Providence.

My greeting full of kindness and affection goes to the children who will receive their first Holy Communion. To them I recommend to remain united with Jesus who today, in the Eucharistic Bread, enters into profound communion with their young lives. Children, trust Jesus! Love him and always keep his word so that, thanks to the gift of the Holy Spirit who transforms the bread and wine into his Body and Blood, He can always dwell in you and you can always remain in Him.

To you who listen and to all the children of Rome who receive their first communion this year in the parishes of Rome and throughout the world, I recommend that you often approach the sacrament of Confession, so that your meeting with Jesus in the Eucharist may take place with a heart that is pure and open to the action of divine grace. For your families and for the families of the parish, I ask to encourage a stable and deep relationship with Jesus by means of regular participation in catechism and Sunday Mass.

3. Dear brothers and sisters, your parish began its life within the Diocese on 11 October 1998, the day on which I had the joy of canonizing the daughter of Israel and Carmelite martyr, Edith Stein, Sr Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, whom you venerate as your special Patron.

From the great contemporary saint, your parish can learn much for the benefit of its faithfulness to its missionary vocation. I invite you to know and to appreciate, both individually and as a community, her life, her writings and her teaching. On this occasion I am pleased to recall the saying that Edith Stein wrote in 1933 when she met the Prioress of the Carmelite Monastery of Cologne in Germany, as she applied for entry, "Human activity can not help us, but only the Passion of Christ. It is my desire to share in it".

To share in the Passion of Christ is the secret for building a truly effective missionary parish. I congratulate you on the wonderful initiatives of prayer and formation that you have set in motion or that you plan, despite the shortage of space and meeting rooms that we hope will soon be remedied.

In particular, I refer to the moments of community prayer such as, for example, the way of the Cross through the streets of the community and in your homes and the rotation of the pilgrimage Virgin of Fatima. I was happy to learn about the monthly letter to Christians which is sent to all your families to help them prepare with an adequate catechesis for the principal feasts of the liturgical year. In this context, I desire to express my appreciation to those who are involved in the groups of family evangelization and to the adults and young people who take part in the choirs.

1278 4. To foster participation in the Passion of Christ, and therefore to foster a fruitful work of announcing the Gospel in the neighborhood, I strongly encourage you to participate in the Eucharistic adoration that takes place every Friday. To put Jesus in the Eucharist as the centre of your personal and community life, even with this devotion, means to put in him all your hopes for a more decisive and courageous spread of the Gospel. Be sure that the Eucharist produces in the Church wonderful and surprising fruit!

With you I entrust to the Lord even the popular mission which you have set for the coming month of October. It will be a mission directed above all to the young people and will be under the direction of the students of the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary, but will involve all the members of the community. I cordially wish that through the mission and prayers of all, young people can meet Christ in their hearts, let him speak to their lives and then decide to follow him. May the Lord grant that even from this parish and from the entire diocese, thanks to the prayers and commitment of many persons and families, many holy vocations may come forth for the priesthood, consecrated and misionary life, vocations which the Church needs today more than ever before.

5. "The angel showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down from heaven, from God, resplendent with the glory of God" (
Ap 21,10). The vision of the heavenly Jerusalem, described so vividly by the Apocalypse, holds before us the goal towards which the Church and the whole of humanity is tending. It is the goal of full and definitive communion with God. Catching sight of it believers bind themselves to live the Gospel and at the same time help to build up the earthly city according to the mind of God.

May the Virgin Mary, whom in the month of May we venerate and pray to with special devotion as our heavenly Mother, ever protect your parish and the whole diocese of Rome. May she, who was the first to receive into her virginal womb the divine Word, help us to be more conformed to her divine Son and ready to announce faithfully the word of the Gospel and to witness it with a coherent lifestyle. Amen.

After Mass was over, the Holy Father made these comments:

During the Eucharistic celebration the wind was certainly strong. The wind is a symbol of the Holy Spirit who breathes forth life. So there was a great wind when the Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles. I hope that today's wind may also be a symbol of the descent of the Holy Spirit on your young parish.


Ascension of the Lord, 24 May 2001

Eminent Cardinals,
Brothers in the Episcopate,
brothers and sisters in Christ,

1. We gather around the altar of the Lord in order to celebrate his Ascension into heaven. We have heard his words: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses ... even to the end of the earth" (Ac 1,8). For 2,000 years, the Risen Lord's promise impels the Church to put out "into the deep" waters of life, to become a contemporary of everyone and the ferment of human thought and imagination.

1279 We listen to Christ's words today in order to accept with renewed fervour the mandate, "put out into the deep" given by Jesus to Peter: a mandate which I have wished to make resound in the Church with the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte. In this solemn liturgy, the Lord, who is present, commands us anew. Going out into the deep does not just mean that the Church is to be much more a missionary Church, but above all it says that she is to be more intensely contemplative. Like the Apostles who witnessed the Ascension, we are invited to fix our spiritual eyes on the face of Christ, taken up into the splendour of divine glory.

Certainly, to contemplate heaven does not mean to forget the earth. If there were ever the hint of such a temptation, just listen again to the two men in white robes, of the Acts of the Apostles: "Why do you stand looking up to heaven?" (
Ac 1,11). Christian contemplation does not take us away from our earthly commitments. The "heaven" into which Jesus was taken up is not his removal into some place far away from us, but the veiling and protection of the presence of One who is always with us until he comes again in glory. The present age is very much the time requiring our witness so that in the name of Christ "repentance and the forgiveness of sins should be preached to all the nations" (cf. Lk Lc 24,47).

Collegiality exists for the mission of the Church and for the practical challenges to her mission
2. I convoked the Extraordinary Consistory which ends today in order to revive in the Church the awareness of her mission to the world. The Cardinals of the world, whom I greet with brotherly affection, have come together here in order to face some of the more important challenges to evangelization and to Christian witness in the world at the opening of the new millennium. These have been days of communion in which we experienced some of the joy that filled the souls of the Apostles when the Risen Lord, after blessing them, ascended into heaven. In fact, Luke says: "They worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God" (Lc 24,52-53).

The icon of the beginnings is a perfect image of the missionary nature of the Church. The Church today has the same basic shape and the same spirit. The spirit emerges when she experiences the joy which the Lord Jesus promised to those who love him: "These things I have said to you that my joy may be in you and your joy may be full" (Jn 15,11). If our faith in the Risen Lord is alive, the soul will be full of joy and the mission will take the form of an "overflow" of joy which impels us to bring to everyone the "wonderful news" of salvation with a courage free of fear and doubt, even at the cost of giving our lives.

The missionary work of the Church, which begins with Christ, is supported by episcopal collegiality and is encouraged by the successor of Peter, whose ministry has the goal of promoting ecclesial communion by guaranteeing the unity of the faithful in Christ.

3. Such an experience made Paul "the Apostle of the Nations" bringing him to travel over most of the then known world, thanks to the inner motivation which forced him to speak of Christ: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel" (1Co 9,16). In my recent apostolic pilgrimage to Greece, Syria and Malta, I wanted to walk in Paul's footsteps as the completion of my Jubilee pilgrimage. I had the joy of living briefly alongside my beloved and admired Catholic brothers of the Eastern Churches and of seeing opened up new ecumenical perspectives in our relations with our equally beloved Orthodox brothers: with the help of God, significant steps were taken towards the desired goal of full communion.

My meeting with the Muslims was wonderful. As during the Jubilee Year pilgrimage to the Holy Land I was able to highlight the special bonds that link our faith with the faith of the Jewish people, now there was an intense moment of dialogue with the believers of Islam. The Second Vatican Council taught us that the announcement of Christ as the only Saviour of the world does not forbid, but on the contrary calls for the pursuit of peaceful relations with the believers of other religions (cf Nostra Aetate NAE 2).

4. "You will be my witnesses". The words of Jesus to the Apostles before the Ascension tell us how to go about evangelization in every age, but they are particularly apt for today. We live in a time in which there is an excessive use of the spoken word by the communications media which have so great an impact on public opinion for better or worse. The word which we need to use is one that is rich in wisdom and holiness. For this reason, in Novo Millennio ineunte, I wrote, "all pastoral initiatives must be set in relation to holiness" (n. 30), cultivated by listening to the Word of God, by prayer and by being centred on the Eucharist, which is at the heart of the celebration of Sunday as the Day of the Lord. The message of Christ will have an impact on our world only through the witness of believers who live the Gospel in a radical way.

Scientific approach to knowledge, resistance to the idea of God becoming man offer challenge
The Church finds herself confronting enormous challenges which test the confidence and enthusiasm of those who announce the Gospel. There are not just the problem of " numbers" due to the minority status of believers while the process of secularization continues to erode the Christian life in countries evangelized long ago. More serious problems derive from the sea change in the way people think, influenced by the empirical way of thinking that prevails in the experimental sciences to the absence of the impact spiritual values should exert on people's minds. Even when the modern world begins to take into account the religious dimension of life, it willingly accepts the image of God the Creator while it has great difficulty, as did Paul's listeners in the Areopagus, accepting the" scandal" of God who out of love enters our history and becomes man, dying and rising for us. Here is a challenge for Catholic schools and universities, as also for the centres of philosophical and theological formation of candidates for the priesthood, all places which should offer a cultural preparation which is adequate for dealing with our present world.

1280 Other problems derive from the advance of globalization. If it offers the advantage of bringing peoples and cultures closer together, it does make more available an infinite number of messages. However, it does not favour a process of discernment and of mature synthesis, but fosters a relativist attitude which makes it more difficult to accept Christ as "the way, the truth and the life" (Jn 14,6) for everyone.

What can we say about emerging moral questions? Never before, above all in the area of bioethics, not to mention those of social justice, of family life, of married life, has humanity had to face a formidable spectrum of problems which jeopardize its own existence.

The Consistory reflected on some of these issues, offering careful analyses and proposing thoughtful solutions. Many of these items will be taken up in the coming Synod of Bishops which has become a valid and effective instrument of episcopal collegiality at the service of the local churches. I am grateful, my brother Cardinals, for the contributions you have now offered: I intend to draw from them the appropriate practical measures so that the pastoral and evangelizing action of the whole Church may abound in its missionary outreach with the full acknowledgement of present day challenges.

5. The mystery of the Ascension throws open before us the spiritual horizon before which such a gain must be situated. It is the horizon of the victory of Christ over sin and death. He ascends into heaven as king of love and of peace, source of salvation for the whole human race. He ascends "to appear in the presence of God on our behalf" as we have just heard in the Letter to the Hebrews (He 9,24). What comes to us from the word of God is an invitation to confidence: "he who promised is faithful" (He 10,23).

The Spirit whom Christ has poured forth without measure gives us the power. The Spirit is the secret of the life of the Church today as much as he was the secret of the life of the primitive Church. We would be condemned to failure, if Christ's promise to the Apostles were not realized in us: "I will send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high" (Lc 24,49). The Spirit, Christ, the Father: the whole Trinity is involved with us.

Yes, my dear brothers and sisters, we are not alone in taking the road that lies before us. With us go priests, religious and laity, young and old, all seriously committed to being like Christ and making the Church visible as poor in earthly goods and full of mercy, especially towards the needy and marginalized, a visibility which is resplendent on account of the witness of communion in truth and love. We will not be alone, the Trinity will be with us. Not with purely human strength, but only with the strength that comes from above, can we face the tasks I entrusted to the whole Church in my Apostolic Letter and the problems which we discussed in the Consistory. The contemplation of the face of Christ ascended to heaven continually bestows the certainty of one who never fails us.

Looking to him, we willingly accept the warning of the Letter to the Hebrews, to "hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful" (He 10,23).

Our renewed zeal becomes a canticle of praise when with the words of the Psalm we show to the people of the world Christ risen and ascended into heaven: "Clap your hands, all you peoples, shout to God with songs of joy ... God is king over all the earth" (Ps 46/47,1.8).

With renewed confidence, then we "put out into the deep" in his name.


Sunday, 27 May 2001

1. "God mounts his throne to shouts of joy" (Responsorial Psalm, Response). These words of today's liturgy lead us into the Solemnity of the Ascension. We relive the moment when Christ returns to the Father, after completing his earthly mission. This feast is the culmination of Christ's glorification at Easter. It is also the immediate preparation for the gift of the Holy Spirit who will come at Pentecost. The Ascension of the Lord should not therefore be taken as an isolated episode but as an integral part of the Easter Mystery.

1281 Indeed the risen Jesus does not leave his disciples definitively; rather, he begins a new kind of relationship with them. If, from the physical and earthly viewpoint, he is no longer present, his invisible presence is nonetheless intensified, reaching a depth and breadth that are absolutely new.

Through the action of the promised Holy Spirit, Jesus was to be present where he had taught his disciples to recognize him: in the Church, the community of all who were to believe in him, called to carry out a never-ending evangelizing mission down the ages in the Gospel, and the sacraments.

2. Dear brothers and sisters of St Angela Merici Parish! I am delighted to celebrate today's Solemnity of the Ascension with you today. I greet you all with affection. I first greet the Cardinal Vicar, the Auxiliary Bishop of this sector, your beloved parish priest, Fr Guido Peresini, and the priests who work with him. Those who addressed cordial words to me on behalf of you all at the beginning of this celebration deserve special thanks.

My thoughts then turn to the religious of the five congregations of consecrated women institutes active in the parish, to the members of the Pastoral Council and to all who in various capacities take part in and promote parish life. I embrace with affection each one of you present here, dear brothers and sisters, and those who live in the neighbourhood.

3. Today's liturgy urges us to look up into Heaven as the Apostles did at the moment of the Ascension, to be then credible witnesses of the Risen One on earth (cf
Ac 1,11), collaborating with him in extending the Kingdom of God among men. We are also invited to meditate on the mandate which Jesus, before ascending into Heaven, entrusts to the disciples: to preach conversion and the forgiveness of sins to all the nations (cf Lc 24,47). This mandate prompts us to reflect on all that our Diocese, through the experiences of the Diocesan Synod and the City Mission, as well as the events which have taken place during the recent Jubilee, is seeking to carry out in a way that is faithful to Christ, so as to have an incisive effect on society and contemporary culture.

We will also attempt to respond to the same mandate of Christ with the Diocesan Convention which will take place from 7 to 9 June next, to review the results of the City Mission and to set up a permanent missionary ministry. A ministry, that is, which is destined for all, to teach the faithful to strive for holiness so that each may fulfil his own mission in the world in accord with his own specific vocation. I urge you all to pray for the success of this convention and to prepare yourselves to obey promptly the pastoral guidelines that will emerge from it. In this way, your parish community will also join with fresh enthusiasm the missionary journey which the Church of Rome is undertaking.

4. Your parish, with a population of over 5,000, is undergoing a profound social transformation like the entire city of Rome and perceives the urgent need to adapt its pastoral action to the changed requirements of the people. This is a challenge to which you are already seeking to give concrete responses. You are particularly concerned to meet the needs of the many situations of poverty that exist in this neighbourhood and to proclaim the "Gospel of love" with actions. I am thinking, for example of those who come from countries outside the European Community, who are often unemployed and prevented from living a dignified life. I am thinking of many elderly people who feel their loneliness acutely when their physical strength and good health begin to fail.

I would like to extend my fraternal greeting to all who are in a condition of hardship, and I invite you, dear friends, to be beside them all the time. In this regard, I thank you for what you are already doing. I am especially pleased that you have set up the Caritas Centre, which is intended as a sign of your response to the immediate needs of those who are all too often forgotten.

Continue with courage and trust, knowing that you are not alone in this effort. You are supported by the whole Diocese which, thanks to the experience of the Great Jubilee, has grown considerably in communion and is ready to carry out more effective and renewed missionary work in our metropolis.

5. All the members of Christ's Mystical Body are called to make their own contribution to your action of apostolic commitment and ecclesial renewal. I am thinking especially of you, dear young people. Your parish community, during the 15th World Youth Day, hosted at least 1,500 young men and women from all over the world. Thus you could experience the enthusiasm and spiritual vitality that flowed from those days of grace. With that same spirit, continue to witness to Christ in your families, at school and in the contexts of daily life. Meet your peers with the same joy and be welcoming and open to them. Further, you will also be able to do a lot for the elderly. It is well known that a bond is often established between the young and the old which can be an excellent way to deepen the faith in the light of their experience. The elderly, in turn, can draw from you the fresh enthusiasm that is typical of your age, to live the autumn of their lives better. Thus a useful exchange of gifts occurs for the benefit of the whole community. May reciprocal understanding and mutual cooperation among everyone be the permanent hallmark of your family and parish life.

6. "I [will] send the promise of my Father upon you" (Lc 24,49). Here Jesus is speaking of his Spirit, the Holy Spirit. Like the disciples, we too are preparing to receive this gift on the solemnity of Pentecost. It is the mysterious action of the Spirit which alone can make us new creatures; alone his mysterious power puts us in the condition of proclaiming God's wonders. We should not fear, therefore; do not let us withdraw into ourselves! Rather, let us readily and willingly collaborate with him so that the salvation offered by God to each person in Christ many lead all humanity to the Father.

1282 Let us wait with Mary for the descent of the Paraclete, like the disciples in the Upper Room. As I arrived at your church I saw a pillar bearing Our Lady's image, with the words, "Do not pass this place without greeting Mary". Let us always follow this advice. May Mary to whom we trustfully turn, especially in this month of May, help us to be worthy disciples of her Son and make us his courageous witnesses in the world. As Queen of our hearts, may she make of all believers one family, united in love and peace.

S. John Paul II Homil. 1275