"We Must Walk With Jesus"
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 8, 2009 (Zenit.org).
- Here is a translation of the comments made by Benedict XVI at the conclusion of the retreat on the theme "The Priest Meets Jesus and Follows Him," given to the Roman curia by Cardinal Francis Arinze, retired prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
* * *
Your Eminence, My Dear Venerable Brothers,
Saying "thank you" is one of the wonderful tasks of the Pope. At this time I would like, in the name of all of us and all of you, to say thank you, Eminence, from the heart, for these meditations which you have given us. You have led, enlightened, helped and renewed us in our priesthood. Yours has not been a theological acrobatic act. You have not given us theological acrobatics, but you have given us sound doctrine, the good bread of our faith.
Listening to your words, there came to my mind a prophecy of the prophet Ezekiel, on which St. Augustine comments. In the Book of Ezekiel the Lord, God the Shepherd, says to the people: I will lead my sheep upon the hills of Israel, to green pastures. And St. Augustine asks: Where are these hills of Israel? What are these green pastures? And he answers: the hills of Israel, the green pastures are the Sacred Scriptures, the Word of God that gives us true nourishment.
Your preaching has been permeated with Sacred Scripture, with a great familiarity with the Word of God read in the context of the living Church, from the Fathers to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, always contextualized in the reading, in the liturgy. Precisely in this way Scripture has been presented in its complete relevance. Your theology, as you told us, was not an abstract theology but one marked by healthy realism. I admired and enjoyed this concrete experience of your 50 years in the priesthood that you spoke to us about and in the light of which you helped us concretize our faith.
What you said to us was sound, concrete for our life, for our comportment as priests. I hope that many will read these words and take them to heart.
You first began with this always fascinating and beautiful account of the first disciples who followed Jesus. Still a little uncertain and timid they ask: Master, where do you live? And the answer, which you commented on, is: "Come and see." To see we must come, we must walk with Jesus, who always precedes us. Only in walking with and following Jesus can we see. You have showed us where Jesus lives, where his dwelling is: in the Church, in his Word, in the most holy Eucharist.
Thank you, Your Eminence, for this guidance. With a new spirit and new joy we will set out on the way to Easter.
I wish everyone a good Lent and a good Easter.