September 8-10, 2000
volume 11, no. 164-166

NEWS for the weekend of September 8-10, 2000


    "The Christian, disciple of Christ", was the theme of Pope John Paul II' catechesis yesterday, held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 40.000 pilgrims from different parts of the world. "The meeting with Christ," the Pope said, "radically changes people's lives, encouraging them to 'metanoia,' or profound conversion of heart and mind; it also establishes a communion of life that develops into following Christ."

    During his catechesis, the Pope stated several "conditions" to follow the Lord, which appear in the Gospel and "are few but fundamental". "The way indicated by Christ is narrow, it calls for sacrifice and the total giving of self. ... It is a way that knows the thorns of tribulations and persecution. ... It is a way that creates missionaries and witnesses of Christ's word." "To follow Christ is not, then, an easy journey along a level road. It also involves moments of discomfort to the point that, on one occasion, 'many of His disciples drew back and no longer went about with Him'."

    The Pope highlighted that "the final destination of those who follow Christ is glory. The path is that of 'imitating Christ,' who lived in love and died on the Cross for love. The disciple 'must, so to speak, enter into Him with all his own self, he must appropriate and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself.' Christ must enter into the disciple's self to liberate it from selfishness and pride." "The cross, sign of love and total donation, is, then, the emblem of the disciple called to associate himself with the glorious Christ."

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