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Monday, January 16, 2012

MIGRANTS, PROTAGONISTS IN THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE GOSPEL


VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his remarks preceding the Angelus to the theme of vocation as it emerged in this Sunday's Gospel readings.

  The first reading described the Prophet Samuel's response to God, following the advice of Eli, the Temple priest, while the second underscored the importance of St. John the Baptist who told his disciples that Jesus was the Messiah.

  The Holy Father laid emphasis on "the decisive role spiritual guidance has for the journey of faith and, in particular, for responding to a vocation of special consecration to serve God and His people. Christian faith itself presupposes announcement and witness", he said, "and thus the call to follow Jesus more closely, renouncing the idea of forming a family of one's own to dedicate oneself to the great family of the Church, normally involves the witness and suggestion of an 'elder brother', often a priest. Nor must we forget the fundamental role of parents, who ... show their children that it is beautiful and possible to construct an entire life upon the love of God".

  The Pope concluded by entrusting "all educators, especially priests and parents", to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, "that they may become fully aware of the importance of their spiritual role to foment, not only young people's human development but also their response to the call of God".

  Following the Angelus the Pope spoke of today's celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. "Millions of people are involved in the phenomenon of migration", he said, "but they are not just numbers! They are men, women and children, the young and the old who seek a place in which to live in peace. In my message for this Day I called people's attention to the theme of 'migrations and new evangelisation', underlining the fact that migrants are not just recipients but also active protagonists of the announcement of the Gospel to the modern world".

  Finally the Holy Father referred to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is celebrated annually from 18 to 25 January, inviting everyone, "as individuals and in communities, to participate spiritually, and where possible practically, to ask God for the gift of full unity among the disciples of Christ".
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