~from Asia News, some excerpts from Pope Benedict's homily at today's Ring Mass
The prayer for peace and Christian unity are the “first and main mission” for the new cardinals as it is for the entire Church both of which are called to be in its service.
This was the central concept on which Benedict XVI based the homily he delivered during the Mass concelebrated with the 23 new cardinals he created yesterday.
More than a hundred other cardinals, hundreds of bishops, priests and faithful, mostly from the new cardinals’ dioceses, attended the Mass.
The Pope reminded the cardinals that the “throne” of Christ is the Cross and the “entire hierarchy of the Church, each charisma and ministry, everything and everyone are in the service of His Lordship.”
To those who now belong to the Church’s “Senate,” the Pope talked about the crucifixion that is represented on their ring.
“This for you, dear new Brother Cardinals, will always be a reminder of the King you serve,” he said, “on what throne He has been elevated and how faithful he has been till the end when he defeated sin and death with the strength of divine mercy. Mother Church, Christ’s bride, gives you this insignia as a memento of Her Husband as Christ loved the church and handed Himself over for her (cf Eph 5:25). Thus, wearing the cardinal's ring, you shall constantly be reminded to give your life to the Church.”
Taking off from today’s liturgical feast of Christ the King and from the 'Christological hymn' from the Paul's Epistle to the Colossians, the Pontiff said that “this text of the Apostle expresses a synthesis of truth and faith that is so powerful that we cannot but admire it deeply."
"The Church is the repository of Christ’s mystery. It is so with humility and no trace of pride or arrogance because it is the highest gift that it was given, with no merit in getting it, but which it is called to offer freely to humanity in every age as a horizon of meaning and salvation.
"It is not philosophy, nor gnosis, even though it includes wisdom and knowledge. It is the mystery of Christ, Christ Himself, Logos incarnate, who died and has risen, becoming the King of the universe.
"How can we not feel a wave of enthusiasm filled with gratitude to be allowed to contemplate the splendour of this revelation? How at the same time can we not feel the joy and sense of responsibility to serve this King, bear witness with one’s life and words to His Lordship? This, in particular, is our task, my venerated Brother Cardinals, namely to announce to the world Christ’s truth, hope for every man and for the entire human family.”