Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "The Year of Faith which we launch today is linked harmoniously with the Church's whole path over the last 50 years," said Holy Father Benedict XVI during the Mass he presided at St. Peter's Square, at the opening of the Year of Faith, on Thursday, October 11. Commenting on the Gospel of the day, where Jesus Christ, consecrated by the Father in the Holy Spirit, is presented as "the true and perennial subject of evangelization", the Pope explained, "This mission of Christ, this movement of his continues in space and time, over centuries and continents. It is a movement which starts with the Father and, in the power of the Spirit, goes forth to bring good news to the poor, in both a material and spiritual sense. The Church is the first and necessary instrument of this work of Christ, because it is united to him as a body to its head." The Holy Father continued: " God the principal subject of the evangelization in the world, through Jesus Christ, but Christ himself wished to pass on his mission to the Church; he did so and continues to do so, until the end of time pouring out his Spirit upon the disciples, that same Spirit that came upon him and remained in him during his earthly life. "
In his homily Benedict XVI recalled that "during the Second Vatican Council there was an emotional tension as we faced the common task of making the truth and beauty of the faith shine out in our time" and continued: "So I think that the most important thing... is to revive in the whole Church that positive tension, that yearning to announce Christ again to contemporary man. But, so that this interior thrust towards the new evangelization neither remain just an idea nor be lost in confusion, it needs to be built on a concrete and precise basis, and this basic is the documents of the Second Vatican Council".
The Pope pointed out that "today the Church proposes a new Year of Faith and a new evangelization, it is not to honor an anniversary, but because there is more need of it, even more than 50 years ago!" as "recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual 'desertification'", so this Year of the faith must be lived as "a pilgrimage in the desert of today’s world, taking with us onlt what is necessary... the Gospel and the faith of the Church, of which the Council documents are a luminous expression, as is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published 20 years ago." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 12/10/2012)