During his reflections, the pope spoke in praise of Sunday, the day of the Resurrection, and referred to the worship of Divine ProvidenceVatican Insider Staff
(La Stampa) "Next Thursday, during the celebrations commemorating the seventh anniversary of my election to the Seat of Peter, I ask you to pray for me, that the Lord may give me the strength to complete the mission he has entrusted to me." These were the words of Benedict XVI when welcoming French pilgrims in their language, after reciting the Regina Caeli in St Peter’s Square.
The fact that Christians celebrate Sunday is ‘strong proof’ that it was on that very day that Christ’s Resurrection took place, because ‘only such an extraordinary and revolutionary event could have persuaded the early Christians to start a system of worship different from the Jewish Sabbath.’
This is what Benedict XVI said during the recital of the Regina Caeli, explaining how ‘every year, when we celebrate Easter, we relive what Jesus’ first disciples experienced, the experience of meeting the risen Christ.’
‘That day, which was later called Sunday,’ said the pope as he spoke to the faithful, ‘is the day the Christian community meets to hold its own ceremony – i.e. the worship of the Eucharist – something which, right from the start, was a new and different kind of worship compared to the Jewish celebrations of the Sabbath.’
He went on to say: ‘In fact, the observance of the Lord’s Day is in itself strong proof of Christ’s Resurrection, because only such an extraordinary and revolutionary event could have persuaded the early Christians to start a system of worship different from the Jewish Sabbath.’
According to Ratzinger, ‘then as now, Christian worship is not just a commemoration of past events, nor is it a particularly mystical or inner experience, but it is essentially a meeting with the risen Christ.’
Benedict XVI took special care to welcome and thank the pilgrims that attended the mass held by the vicar general of Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, in the Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, ‘an important place for devotion to Divine Mercy, where Saint Faustina Kowalska and the Blessed John Paul II are also particularly venerated.’
‘I pray that you will all witness Christ’s loving mercy,’ said the pontiff, who had just explained how it was his predecessor, John Paul II, to designate the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.
Then speaking in Polish as he welcomed Polish pilgrims, he quoted the words of Karol Wojtyla, spoken ten years ago at the Sanctuary of Lagiewniki: ‘The fire of mercy needs to be passed on to the world. In the mercy of God the world will find peace and mankind will find happiness! I entrust this task to you, to all the [devotees] of Divine Mercy.’