Sunday, June 29, 2008

Papal Mass for Saints Peter and Paul - the Homily

While we have already seen pictures of this morning's papal Mass, the homily of Pope Benedict was, as always, most interesting. While I recommend reading the entire sermon, towards the end of it, there are some words which more directly concern the liturgy, which I give you here in a translation which I have made from the German original, which has interestingly been posted on the Vatican website. The Pope is addressing the metropolitan archbishops:

This lets me come back, in the end, once again to St. Paul and his mission. He has phrased the essence of his mission and also the most profound reason for his desire to go to Rome, in Chapter 15 of the Letter to the Romans, in a singularly beautiful sentence.

He knows he has been called "to serve as a liturgist of Jesus Christ for the Gentiles, to administer as a priest the Gospel of God, so that the Gentiles may become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified in the Holy Spirit" (15,16). Only in this verse, Paul uses the word »hierourgeîn« - administer as a priest - together with »leitourgós« - liturgist: he speaks of the cosmic liturgy, in which the world of men itself is to become adoration of God, oblation in the Holy Spirit.

Then the world is at its goal, then it is whole, when as a whole it has become liturgy of God, [has] in its being [become] adoration. This is the ultimate objective of St. Paul's apostolic mission and of our mission. Into this service the Lord calls us. That he may help us to carry it out properly, to become true liturgists of Jesus Christ, for this we pray in this hour. Amen.

You can find the entire homily at the bottom of this page of the Papa Ratzinger Forum in a translation by Teresa Benedetta.

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