VATICAN CITY, MARCH 9, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Those looking for the fountain of life should look to the Eucharist, the only true source of immortality, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this today upon celebrating a Mass marking the 25th anniversary of the San Lorenzo International Center, attended by an international group of 200 young people.
Pope John Paul II inaugurated the San Lorenzo International Center, located near St. Peter's Basilica, on March 13, 1983. During the inauguration the Polish Pope expressed the hope that the center become "a forge for the formation of authentic young Christians who are capable of bearing coherent witness to the Gospel in today's world."
Benedict XVI put aside his text for the homily and offered a meditation on the meaning of life and death in light of this Sunday’s Gospel on the resurrection of Lazarus.
The human being is not only a biological being, the Pope explained, speaking at the Church of San Lorzenzo in Piscibus, which forms part of the center.
“Although he is part of the this great biocosmos, man transcends it because, certainly, man is always man with all his dignity, even if he is in a comatose state, even if he is an embryo; but if he only lives biologically not all of the possibilities of his being will be realized, which open new dimensions,” he said.
The first dimension is that of knowledge, the Holy Father continued, a knowledge that in man, as distinct from animals, is identified with a “thirst for the infinite.”
We all aspire to “drink from the fountain of life itself,” he said, and to do so we entrust ourselves to the “second dimension of human nature,” which is love.
Benedict XVI continued, “Man is not only a being that knows, but he lives in a relation of friendship and love. Beyond the dimension of knowledge and truth there exists, inseparably from the latter, the relational dimension. Here one draws closer to the fountain of life, from which one wants to drink to have life in abundance, life itself."
Science, the Pope added, and medicine in particular, represent a great struggle for life, but they cannot satisfy the desire for eternity that is proper to man, not even if the pill of immortality is discovered.
The Holy Father said, “Let us imagine what would happen with an immortal biological human life: a world grown old, a life that would no longer leave room for young people, for youth, for this newness of life.
"So, this cannot be that immortality [that comes from] drinking of the fountain of life, which we all desire."
The only true medicine of immortality is the Eucharist, he said, and the certainty of being loved by God.
Benedict XVI made special mention of the Emmanuel Community, “who for 20 years has with great fidelity coordinated various initiatives.” He also praised the involvement of young people of various movements and communities and mentioned.
The Pontiff’s Mass began a series of celebrations of the Center’s 25th anniversary that will culminate on Palm Sunday, March 16, with the youth pertaining to the center attending Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, presided over by Benedict XVI.
On Thursday, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity will preside over a Eucharist celebration to be followed by a prayer vigil and adoration until midnight.
The community of Taizé will organize another vigil on Friday, presided over by Brother Alois Loser, prior of the community.
On Saturday, a gathering will be held on the theme of the history and mission of the San Lorenzo International Center to be attended by Cardinal Rylko and Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, who promoted the foundation of the center.