ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
Thursday, 4 May 2000
1. I am pleased to extend a special greeting to you, managers of the distribution outlets of AGIP petrol, who have gathered in Rome with your families for the Great Jubilee.
I thank Cardinal Virgilio Noè, who expressed your sentiments and opened our meeting. The ENI Group, of which AGIP forms a part, carried out the great restoration of the façade of St Peter's Basilica, and I am glad on this occasion to express my gratitude again to those responsible for this demanding work, whose results are unanimously admired by pilgrims and visitors.
2. You have come to make your Jubilee pilgrimage and to visit the Successor of Peter. As I welcome you with joy, I wish briefly to recall the meaning of the Jubilee pilgrimage. It expresses and fosters the way of conversion, the authentic aim of the Holy Year. To be converted means to strive for a change of mentality: from that "of the world" to that of God, which Christ revealed and communicated to us. To pass through the Holy Door expresses precisely our faith in Christ and our will to follow him, who by his Death and Resurrection enabled us to pass from sin to grace, from a way of living dominated by selfish interests to another based on the Gospel, inspired, that is, by our love of God and neighbour.
Your visit takes place, by a happy coincidence, right after the Jubilee of Workers. It is only natural, then, to offer you the wish I made on 1 May last to the entire world of work: that your professional activity, along with the toil that it inevitably involves, may be in harmony with your spiritual and family life, in order to fulfil the Creator's plan.
3. Every human activity, including work, must be carried out by the believer in thanksgiving to God. Through an ancient Greek word that became sacred to Christians, this thanksgiving is called "Eucharist". We also bring the joys and efforts of our daily work to the altar at Holy Mass, so that the priest may offer them together with the bread and wine. In this way the human person expresses his vocation as the image of God and fulfils it completely on the Lord's Day, when he participates in the Sunday celebration and devotes himself with more freedom to his family, to rest and to fraternal relationships. I hope that the legitimate demands of your profession do not hinder you from observing Sunday in this way as the Lord's Day.
To live the spirit of the Jubilee means to put these fundamental values in the right place: they detract nothing from working activity, but put it in its proper dimension, giving it more authentic meaning.
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