MESSAGE OF THE HOLY
Holy Thursday, 24 March 2005
I join in spirit all of you who are gathered in the Vatican Basilica for the celebration of the solemn Chrism Mass. I greet Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who is presiding at the sacred rite, together with my Venerable Brothers, the Cardinals and Bishops. I greet you, dear priests of the Diocese of Rome, and you who come from so many other regions of the world. I greet you, dear deacons, dear men and women Religious and dear faithful who represent the entire People of God.
With this liturgical celebration we are commemorating the day on which Christ communicated his priesthood to the Apostles. We priests relive those moments of spiritual intimacy that Jesus shared in the Upper Room with his "friends" on the eve of his passion, death and Resurrection. We are his "friends" and, with hearts overflowing with gratitude, we renew the priestly promises that we made with generous enthusiasm on the day of our Ordination.
From my apartment and via television, I am spiritually with you, dear friends. I thank God with you for the gift and mystery of our priesthood: with you and with the entire family of believers, I pray that the Church will always possess numerous and holy priests.
I entrust these wishes and prayers to Mary, Mother of Christ, the eternal High Priest.
My Blessing to you all!
From the Vatican, 24 March 2005
JOHN PAUL II
Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana