Monday, June 29, 2009
"Dear brothers and sisters!
Today, we celebrate solemnly the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, special Patrons of the Church of Rome: Peter, the fisherman of Galilee, who "first confessed to faith in Christ... and constituted the first community with the righteous of Israel"; Paul, the persecutor of old Christians, "that illuminated the depths of the mystery... teacher and doctor who proclaimed salvation to all peoples "(cf. Preface of today's Mass). In a sermon to the community of Rome, Pope St Leo the Great said: "These are your Fathers and true Shepherds (Bishops), because they have founded you that you would be entered into the kingdom of heaven " (Sermo I in Nat App Petri et Pauli, c I, PL 54.422).
Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord bless you and protect through the intercession of Saints Peter and Paul! As your pastor, I urge you to remain faithful to their Christian vocation and not conformed to this world - as the Apostle to the Gentiles wrote to his own Christians in Rome - but to go and always turn renewed by the Gospel, to follow what is really good and pleasing to God (cf Rom 12:2). For this I pray, that Rome constantly keeps alive its Christian vocation, not only retaining intact its immense spiritual and cultural heritage, but also because its people can transmit the beauty of faith in concrete ways of thinking and acting, and thus affording to those who, for various reasons are in this city, an atmosphere filled with humanity and the evangelical values. Therefore - with the words of Saint Peter - I invite you, dear brothers and sisters, disciples of Christ, to be "living stones", compact around him, who is the "living stone, rejected by men but chosen and precious before God" (cf 1 Pt 2:4). "
--Extract from Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus address - 29 June 2009. Translated by ocdsister.