10-February-2013 -- Vatican Information Service |

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God Doesn't Consider As Much The Qualities Of The Chosen As Their Faith

Vatican City, 10 February 2013 (VIS) - As is customary on Sundays, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The Pope commented on the Gospel of St. Luke that narrates the call of the first disciples, a call "preceded by Jesus' teaching to the multitude and by a miraculous catch of fish." While the crowd gathered on the shore of Lake Gennesaret to listen to Him, Jesus?seeing Simon disheartened because he hadn't caught anything the whole night?asks if He can board his boat to preach to the people a little way from the shore. Once finished preaching, Christ orders Simon to go out to sea with his companions and to cast their nets. Simon obeys and the nets are filled with an incredible amount of fish. "The Gospel writer shows that the first disciples followed Jesus, trusting in Him, acting on His Word, while accompanied by prodigious signs. ... This is the pedagogy of God's call, which doesn't look as much at the quality of the chosen as at their faith, as in Simon's case.

"The image of the catch," the Pope emphasized, "recalls the Church's mission ... Peter's experience, certainly unique, is also representative of the call of each Apostle in the Gospel, who should never lose heart in proclaiming Christ to all people, even to the ends of the earth. today's text also brings us to reflect on the vocation to the priesthood and to consecrated life. This is God's work. Human beings are not the authors of their own vocation, but respond to a divine call. Human weakness should not lead us to fear God's call. It is necessary to be confident in His strength, which acts precisely in our weakness. We must trust ever more in the power of His mercy, which transforms and renews us."

"May this Word of God also reignite in us and in our Christian communities the courage, confidence, and enthusiasm to announce and witness to the Gospel. Challenges and difficulties don't dishearten us: it falls to us to cast our nets with faith. The Lord will do the rest," concluded the Holy Father.

After praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI noted that many Asian countries are celebrating the Lunar New Year. Peace, harmony, and thanksgiving to heaven," he observed, "are the universal values that are celebrated in this happy circumstance, and they are wished for by all so as to build their family, society, and their nation upon them. I wish for those peoples the fulfilment of their aspirations for a happy and prosperous life. I send a special greeting to the Catholics of those countries that, in this Year of Faith, they may be guided by Christ's wisdom.

Lastly, he spoke of the World Day of the Sick, which will be celebrated tomorrow, 11 February, on the liturgical feastday of Our Lady of Lourdes. "The solemn ceremony," he said, "will take place in the Marian Shrine in Altotting, Bavaria, Germany. I am near to all the ill in prayer and affection and I spiritually join with those gathered in that sanctuary that I love so much."

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