June 5, 2000 - THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS
Holy Father's Regina Coeli Address from Sunday, June 4, 2000
Dearest Brothers And Sisters!
1. The feast of the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven is celebrated today
in many countries, including Italy. Forty days after his resurrection,
he was lifted up as his disciples were looking on, until a cloud took
him out of their sight (Cf. Acts 1:9). So Jesus' public life concluded
and the missionary expansion of the Church began. From that day on,
Christ's disciples began to spread the Word of salvation everywhere,
giving testimony of the death and resurrection of their divine Master.
Today the Church also continues on this path of proclaiming the Gospel
to the men and women of our time, pointing out to all that our true and
final homeland is not down here, but "in Heaven," namely in God. This,
however, should not withdraw us from engagement in the world, as the
lives of the Saints demonstrate, but must reinforce it even more. In
fact, only by fulfilling our mission on earth will we finally be able to
be in the glory of God.
2. To proclaim and witness to Christ! This is the mission of every
baptized person. World Day of Social Communications, which is being
celebrated this very day, refers directly to this mission; its theme is
"To Proclaim Christ in the Media at the Dawn of the New Millennium."
Certainly, one of the most vast areas of social coexistence is that of
communication; therefore, the activity of those who work in social
communications is of great importance. Given this reality, it was
decided to celebrate the Jubilee of Journalists, whom I myself will
shortly have the joy of meeting, precisely to stress this importance,
which represents a pastoral priority for the Church. Conscious of the
command Christ entrusted to it to "communicate" the Gospel, the
ecclesial community makes use of all means to carry this out, including
the most modern. Journalists, communications professionals, and all who
in different ways work in this sector, are asked to carry out their
mission in a responsible way, understanding that those who works with
respect for truth render a precious service to truth itself and,
consequently, to humanity. I gladly give my encouragement to journalists
and to all workers in information, who in every part of the world are
dedicated to the good of humanity, serving justice, liberty, and peace,
not rarely at the price of personal sacrifices.
3. May the Spirit of God assist those who seek to serve the truth. May
he help and guide the Church that it may enter the new millennium filled
with the light and strength of Christ.
We entrust our prayer to Mary. Together with her, we relive this week
the Apostles' prayer of expectation in the Upper Room, in preparation
for the feast of Pentecost.