Friday, February 2, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI and Evangelization

For all of us that work with teenagers and wonder if they will ever "get it", here is what Pope Benedict XVI says about evangelization...

Pontiff: No Soloists in Evangelizing
Highlights Paul's Collaborators in Building the Church

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 31, 2007 ( St. Paul didn't evangelize alone, but acted as a member of the Body of Christ, Benedict XVI says.

The Pope explained this at today's general audience in Paul VI Hall where some 6,000 people gathered to hear a reflection dedicated to three of St. Paul's collaborators: Barnabas, Silas and Apollos.

Highlighting the support the three men gave the Apostle, the Holy Father said: "Paul does not act as a 'soloist,' as an isolated individual, but together with these collaborators in the 'we' of the Church."

For Paul, there is no "I" but a "we" of the Church, the "we" of the apostolic faith, Benedict XVI explained.

"Each one has a different task in the field of the Lord," the Pontiff said, quoting 1 Corinthians 3:6-9: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave growth ... for we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building."

The Pope explained that Paul's collaborators "found the meaning of life" in their evangelizing mission "and thus they are presented to us as luminous models of selflessness and generosity."

"This is valid for us also today, for the Pope, as well as the cardinals, bishops, priests and laity," Benedict XVI added. "We are all humble ministers of Jesus. We serve the Gospel in the measure that we can, according to our gifts, and we ask God to make his Gospel, his Church grow today."

Pope Benedict XVI

When John Paul II died, I wondered if the Church through the College of Cardinals could find a successor with the eloquence and theological strength that JP II gave to the world (of course the Holy Spirit guided this through and through).

The day the new pope was announced I remember getting a call from my sister, Carla, who was watching television with her students at the catholic school she taught at. I was so excited that I could hardly contain myself. I went from classroom to classroom in my hallway at St. Mary's High School to tell the other teachers. There was a presentation occuring in my room at the time. I asked the presenter if we could put on the television to watch the announcment. Even though she was not Catholic, she agreed and was as equally excited as I.

I remember being in my classroom with a large number of students waiting and watching during break. The bells of St. Peter's were ringing and people were running to the square to wait for the new pope. HABEMUS PAPEM -- As the cardinal came out and read off the name of the new pope, Joseph Ratzinger, I did a double take and asked one of the kids, "Did he say Ratzinger?" I jumped up so high, I nearly hit the ceiling. Cardinal Ratzinger chose the name, Benedict XVI. He chose Benedict because St. Benedict brought Catholicism back to Europe and he must do the same.

As I sat down to write this blog (my first), I was only going to copy and paste an article that I had read from, but I guess the Holy Spirit inspired me to write this. I will post the article in another blog. Let us pray for his Holiness and the work he must do for the Church.