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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Papa St John Paul II's homily at Holy Mass with Seminarians
Pauline Chapel, Sunday 19 November 1978 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"1.Our meeting today has the character of a special audience. It is — if it can be said so — a eucharistic audience. We are not "holding" it, but "celebrating" it. This is a holy liturgy. The Superiors of the seminaries of this diocese are concelebrating with me, the new Bishop of Rome, and with the Cardinal Vicar; and the students of the Roman Seminary, of the "Capranica" Seminary and of the Minor Seminary are participants in this Eucharist.

The Bishop of Rome wishes to visit his seminaries but, in the mean­ time, you have come today to him for this sacred Audience!

The Holy Mass is also an audience. Perhaps the comparison is too bold, perhaps it is improper, perhaps it is too "human", I take the liberty, however, of using it: this is one of the audiences that Christ himself grants continually to the whole of mankind — which he grants to a given eucharistic community — and to each of us who constitute this assembly.

2. During the audience we listen to the one who is speaking. And we too try to speak to him in such a way that he can listen to us.

In the Eucharistic Liturgy Christ speaks in the first place with the force of his Sacrifice. It is a very concise and at the same time burning speech. It can be said that we know this speech by heart; every time, however, it presents itself to us as new, sacred, revealing. It contains in itself the whole mystery of love and truth, because truth lives on love and love on truth. God, who is Truth and Love, manifested himself in the history of creation and in the history of salvation. He reproposes this history by means of this redeeming sacrifice, which he handed down to us in the sacramental sign, in order that we may not only think of it again in memory, but may renew it and celebrate it again. In celebrating the Eucharistic Sacrifice, we are introduced every time to the mystery of God himself and also to the whole depth of human reality. The Eucharist is an announcement of death and resurrection. The paschal mystery is expressed in it as the beginning of a new Time and as the final expectation.

It is Christ himself who speaks, and we never stop listening. We continually wish for this, his power of salvation, which has become a divine "guarantee" of the words of eternal life.

He has words of eternal life (cf Jn 6, 68).

3. What we want to say to him is always ours, because it springs from our human experiences, our desires, but also from our anxieties. It is often a language of suffering, but also of hope. We speak to him of ourselves, of all those who are waiting for us to remind him of them.

What we say is inspired by the Word of God. The liturgy of the word precedes the eucharistic liturgy. With regard to the word to which we have listened to today, we would have so many things to say to Christ, during this sacred Audience.

We wish, therefore, to speak to him in the first place of this particular talent — perhaps not one only, but five — which we have received: the priestly vocation, the call to set out towards the priesthood by entering the seminary. Every talent is an obligation. We feel all the more obliged by this talent not to waste it, not "to hide it under the earth", but to make it bear fruit: by means of a thorough preparation, study, work on one's own ego, and a conscious formation "of the new man" who, giving himself to Christ unreservedly in the priestly service, lived in celibacy, will be able to become in a special way a man "for others".

We also wish to speak to Christ about that way which leads each of us to the priesthood, to speak each about his own life. In it we try to persevere with fear of God, as the psalmist invites us to do. This is the way that brings us out of the darkness to lead us towards the light, as St Paul writes. We wish to be "children of light". We wish to keep watch, we wish to be moderate, sober and responsible for ourselves and for others.

Each of you will certainly have many other things to say during this Audience — each of you, superiors, and each of you, beloved students.

And what shall I, your new bishop, say to Christ?

In the first place, I wish to tell him: I thank you for all those you have given me. I want to say to him further (I repeat it to him continually): The harvest is abundant! Send workers for your harvest.

And I want to say to him furthermore: Keep them in the truth, and grant that they may mature in the grace of the sacrament of the priesthood, for which they are preparing.

I want to say all this to him through his Mother, whom you venerate in the Roman Seminary, looking at the image of "Our Lady of Trust", to whom the Servant of God, John XXIII, was particularly devoted.

I entrust, therefore, to this Mother each of you and all three seminaries of my new diocese. Amen.

Pope St John Paul II's words at the Angelus in 1978
St Peter's Square, Sunday 19 November 1978 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"Today we recite the Angelus on the occasion of Sunday.

In many places however there is the beautiful custom of reciting it during work, even on week days. When the bell sounds "the Angelus", people interrupt their work for a few moments and remember the mystery of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, a mystery connected with the Angel's Annunciation to Mary. It is a fine custom, a very meaningful one, but which unfortunately, in our industrialized and hurried life, seems to be vanishing. In spite of this situation, we cannot forget the deep truth contained in the ancient saying of the Benedictines: "ora et labora": pray and work.

Prayer unites men with God and makes them brothers.

On this Sunday, in which "Emigrant's Day" is celebrated in Italy, I wish, with this common prayer, to join all those who, for different reasons, particularly in search of work, earnings, and better living conditions, are outside their country, outside Italy.

Emigration is a universal phenomenon. It is impossible to contain in a few words all that should be said in this connection. One thing is certain. On this day, we must go, with thought and heart, from so many homes of ours, from so many localities of our native soil, to other countries, other localities, other places of work, where sons and daughters of the Italian land are living and working. We will always remember them. Our feelings and good wishes follow them. May God bless their lives and their work. Let them not forget those whom they have left. Let them know that we are thinking of them, caring for them and praying for them.

The Italian Episcopate, by means of a special Commission, is constantly in touch with the emigrants. The other Episcopal Conferences do the same (for example, the Conference of the Polish Episcopate, whose activity in this field is well known to me).

Beloved Brothers and Sisters!

Wherever you are in the world, persevere in faith and keep the noble heritage which you brought from your native land.

We commend you to the Good Shepherd, Christ, and to his Mother.

Interrupt other commitments for a moment and stay here in spirit with us. Let us recite the Angelus together ..."

The Pope also greeted a group of schoolgirls from Padua. His Holiness spoke as follows:

"I wish to address an affectionate greeting and sincere congratulations to the girls of the fifth class of the officially recognized elementary School "Pelà-Tono" of Este, in the province of Padua. They have come to Rome to receive the "Livio Tempesta" national prize for Goodness for the year 1978.

Well done! Really well done, dear girls! May your generous dedication to others be an encouragement for all to be increasingly kind to their neighbour, in order to make society better. My special Apostolic Blessing accompanies you, and I extend it to your Schoolmistress, your Superiors, your parents and all your friends, little and big."