Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pope' Wednesday Audience (Today)

Pope Benedict XVI:
In our catechesis on Christ and the Church, we have seen how the Church is built “on the foundation of the Apostles”. The Gospels show how Jesus, at the beginning of his public ministry, chose the Twelve to become “fishers of men”. Saint John in particular presents the calling of the Apostles as the fruit of a life-changing, personal encounter with the Lord. More than just the proclamation of a message, the preaching of the Gospel is seen as a witness to the person of Jesus Christ and an invitation to enter into communion with him. Jesus sent his Apostles first to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”. This prophetic act should be understood in the light of Israel’s messianic expectation, according to which God, through his Chosen One, would gather his people like a shepherd his flock. This “gathering” is the sign of the coming of God’s Kingdom and the extension of his saving power to every nation and people. After the Resurrection, the universality of the mission entrusted to the Apostles would become explicit. The Risen Lord would send them forth to make disciples of every nation, even “to the ends of the earth”!