The Papal Homily (cont'd)
But, dear young people of Trinidad and Tobago, I urge you to reject the deception of the evil one, and to seek instead to build your future not on such shaky foundations but on the solid rock of authentic moral and religious values, on generous love, on the full truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Saviour of the world. It is He who through His Gospel teaches us how to live in accordance with the will of our Father in heaven.
As the Church here faces these and other problems, I am heartened to know that you are strengthened in your efforts by a good spirit of ecumenism among Christians, and a true sense of fraternal co-operation with members of other religions. Continue to find strength, too, in your all-night prayer vigils and in the special Year of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance which you have recently begun.
"Praise the Lord Jerusalem! Zion praise your God!" (Ps 147:12)
These words from the Psalm which we have sung in today's liturgy reflect the joy of Jerusalem: the city particularly loved and visited by God. The Church takes up this same song of praise and, like Jerusalem, glorifies God for all His works in the created world, for the whole order of the universe. However, first of all, the Church, following the example of Jerusalem, glorifies God for the word of His revelation:
"He makes his word known to Jacob,
to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations.
He has not taught them his decrees."
As I make this pastoral visit today, I wish this thanksgiving of Jerusalem and the Church to be repeated here together with you. Together let us give thanks to God, to the Most Holy Trinity, for the gift of Revelation and for the grace of faith which for many generations has dwelt in your souls.
Let us give thanks to Jesus Christ, because His Apostles have reached here in the person of their successors. Let us thank Mary His Mother because she has become Mother of the inhabitants of Trinidad and Tobago. Let us praise God for Saint Louis Bertrand and for all the zealous missionaries who proclaimed the Good News of salvation in this country. Praise to the Most Holy Trinity for having given the precious gifts of faith to each of you and to your forebears! With one heart and one voice let us acclaim: "Praise the Lord Jerusalem! Zion praise your God!" (Psalm 147:12)
It is my fervent desire that the Gospel inheritance will always remain in your midst: with its power to lift up the downtrodden and weary, to bring healing and hope, to give meaning to life; with its power to bring about conversion and reconciliation. And I pray that this Gospel of salvation will be extended through catechesis and ever more fully embraced in Christian living. This is my deepest wish for your entire community.
I am, grateful to you for your hospitality and your cordial welcome. may this meeting strengthen your unity with the Church in Rome, which remains the centre of universal unity.
Once again, in the words of St Paul, I assure you that I have come "for the sake of the Gospel" (1 Cor 9:23), so that you may all have a share in its blessings!
The love of God the Father, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.
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