Convinced of Christ: yes, I feel the need to proclaim him, I cannot keep silent. «Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!» (1 Cor 9,16). I am sent by him, by Christ himself, to do this. I am an apostle, I am a witness. The more distant the goal, the more difficult my mission the more pressing is the love that urges me to it (2 Cor 5,14). I must bear witness to his name: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Mt 16,16). He reveals the invisible God, he is the firstborn of all creation, the foundation of everything created (Col 1,15f.). He is the Teacher of mankind, and its Redeemer. He was born, he died and he rose again for us. He is the centre of history and of the world; he is the one who knows us and who loves us; he is the companion and the friend of our life. He is the man of sorrows and of hope. It is he who will come and who one day will be our judge and - we hope -the everlasting fulness of our existence, our happiness.
I could never finish speaking about him: he is the light and the truth; indeed, he is «the way, the truth and the life» (Jn 14,6). He is the bread and the spring of living water to satisfy our hunger and our thirst (Jn 6,35; 7,38). He is our shepherd, our guide, our model, our comfort, our brother. Like us, and more than us, he has been little, poor, humiliated; he has been a worker; he has known misfortune and been patient. For our sake he spoke, worked miracles and founded a new kingdom where the poor are happy, where peace is the principle for living together, where the pure of heart and those who mourn are raised up and comforted, where those who hunger and thirst after justice have their fill, where sinners can be forgiven, where all are brothers.
Jesus Christ: you have heard him spoken of; indeed the greater part of you are already his: you are Christians. So, to you Christians I repeat his name, to everyone I proclaim him: Jesus Christ «is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega» (Rv 21,6); he is the king of the new world; he is the secret of history; he is the key to our destiny. He is the mediator, the bridge, between heaven and earth. He is... the Son of Man, because he is the Son of God... He is the son of Mary... Jesus Christ is our constant preaching; it is his name that we proclaim to the ends of the earth (Rom 10,18) and throughout all ages.
(Homily given at Manilla, November 29, 1970 [©Libreria Editrice Vaticana])
HT: Daily Gospel