Vienna (AsiaNews) – “Those who have taken Communion ….. carry the Risen Lord within themselves…. Bring Sunday, and its immense gift, into the world!”. In refelections bifore the recitation of the Angelus Benedict XVI returned to the importance of Sunday and Eucharistic celebration, underlining the urgency of Christian witness, and the model of Mary: “Just as Mary bore him in her womb – a defenceless little child, totally dependent on the love of his Mother – so Jesus Christ, under the species of bread, has entrusted himself to you, dear brothers and sisters. Love him as Mary loved him! Bring him to others, just as Mary brought him to Elizabeth as the source of joyful exultation!”.
The pope was speaking from a podium prepared in the square before the Cathedral of St Stephens, surrounded by tens of thousands of faithful who called to him in Italian : “Be-ne-det-to!”.
Mary is also an example for those who “loose their lives” to the Gospel. The pontiff clarified : “the love of God, who surrendered himself into our hands for our salvation, gives us the inner freedom to let go of our own lives, in order to find true life. Mary’s participation in this love also gave her the strength to say “yes” unconditionally. In her encounter with the gentle, respectful love of God, who awaits the free cooperation of his creature in order to bring about his saving plan, the Blessed Virgin was able to overcome all hesitation and to entrust herself into his hands”.
“The Virgin – concluded the pope - gave the Word of God a human body, and thus enabled him to come into the world as a man. Give your own bodies to the Lord, and let them become ever more fully instruments of God’s love, temples of the Holy Spirit! ”.
Before praying the Angelus, just as the sun began to appear after days of ceaseless rain, the pope pronounced a prayer to the Virgin, which he had intended to recite upon his arrival in Vienna, beneath the Mariensaule, the city’s column to the Immaculate in Amhof square. The pontiff was unable to do so due to driving rain which had drowned out the audio in the square at the time. The text of the prayer reads:
Holy Mary, Immaculate Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, in you God has given us the model of the Church and of genuine humanity. To you I entrust the country of Austria and its people. Help all of us to follow your example and to direct our lives completely to God! Grant that, by looking to Christ, we may become ever more like him: true children of God! Then we too, filled with every spiritual blessing, will be able to conform ourselves more fully to his will and to become instruments of his peace for Austria, Europe and the world. Amen.
At the end of the Angelus sung in German, Benedict XVI greeted a group of children from the Infant Missions (Missio), who commit their prayers and time by collecting funds, to helping the world’s missionaries.