VATICAN CITY, MAY 29, 2004 (VIS) - This morning, the Holy Father received students of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, accompanied by their president, Archbishop Justo Mullor Garcia, saying to them: "May difficulties never hinder your generous commitment to Christ and His Church."
Having recalled that tomorrow is the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Pope indicated that from that day when they received the Holy Spirit, the Apostles "began to travel the world announcing the Good News. Since then, this announcement has never ceased to sound out among men: Christ, only begotten of God is the Savior of man, of all men."
He continued: "By maintaining contact with the Pope, pontifical representatives are called to represent him before the ecclesial communities of the countries in which they work, before national governments and international organizations. This requires that the personnel of such missions have a capacity for dialogue, knowledge of various peoples, of their cultural and religious expressions, as well as of their legitimate expectations. At the same time, an adequate theological and pastoral formation is indispensable, and above all a mature and total faithfulness to Christ. Only if you remain united to Him with prayer and the constant quest for His will, will your work be fruitful and will you feel fully realized in your priesthood."
John Paul II called on the priests "to keep alight in their minds and hearts the life-giving fire of the Holy Spirit, which in these days we ardently implore, and to be witnesses of peace and love wherever divine Providence may take you."
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