TO HIS FORMER STUDENTS OF THE "RATZINGER SCHÜLERKREIS"
BEFORE THE CELEBRATION OF HOLY MASS
Mariapoli Centre, Castel Gandolfo
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In today's Reading St Paul tells us that in order to recognize God's will we need a renewal of the spirit. We are unable to bring about this renewal ourselves; it is not something we can do on our own, we have to be renewed. This renewal is death and resurrection. It can only happen in the newness brought by God himself, by losing ourselves in Christ who attracts us to himself in the Holy Eucharist and who, through Baptism, made us sharers in his death and Resurrection. Thus, starting from Paul's text, what the Lord says in the Gospel today, in other words, that we can only take up our cross and follow him, also becomes comprehensible. This is not a matter of a limited form of asceticism but rather concerns a newness that we can receive only in communion with his death and his Resurrection. At the beginning of this Holy Mass, let us pray the Lord that he may take from us all that is old, and that he may shatter our former withdrawal into self as well as our self-sufficiency in order to make us new.
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