Pope Benedict Calls for Christians to be Courageous Witnesses


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(07 Apr 10 - RV) During his weekly general audience on Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the greatest of God's acts.

The Holy Father flew to the Vatican by helicopter from Castel Gandolfo, where he his staying during his week of rest following Easter celebrations.

"Our General Audience today is marked by the spiritual joy of Easter, as the Church continues her celebration of Christ's glorious resurrection from the dead. The resurrection is the greatest of God's mighty acts in history; mysterious beyond all imagining, it is also a real event attested by trustworthy witnesses who in turn became messengers of this Good News before the world."

The Pope said that in every generation, the Gospel of Christ, crucified and risen, must constantly be proclaimed anew. He said that each of us is called to testify to the reality and power of the new life bestowed by the Risen Lord upon those who believe.

"Saint Mark, at the end of his Gospel, tells us that the Lord 'worked with' the Apostles, and 'confirmed the message by the signs which accompanied it' (Mk 16:20)."

The Holy Father said that the Risen Christ wishes to work with us, so that we may reflect his words in our words and reveal the power of his love by our actions.

"During this Easter season, may our personal encounter with the Lord deepen our faith, hope and love, and inspire us to proclaim, with our lips and in our lives, the Good News that 'Christ is truly risen!.'"

At the conclusion of his remarks to the English-speaking faithful, Pope Benedict welcomed the newly-ordained deacons from the Pontifical Irish College.

"May the grace of your ordination conform you ever more fully to the Lord in humble obedience and faithful service to the building up of the Church in your beloved homeland."

Speaking in Russian, the Pope also wished a Happy Easter the Orthodox - who this year celebrated on the same day as the Catholic Church.

At the end of his audience in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father returned to his residence in Castel Gandolfo.