As Benedict XVI Celebrates 70 Years as a Priest, a Homily He Gave on the Priesthood| National Catholic Register

A half century has passed since your names were called in the cathedral in Freising at the hour of your priestly ordination and you responded: Adsum — I am ready! This is the word with which Abraham placed himself at the service of God’s call, as Samuel, the prophets of the Old Covenant, and finally the witnesses to Christ did after him down through the centuries. Adsum — I am ready, Lord, do with me what you will. Send me. I want to be your instrument. It was a Holy Year then, too, and it really was true that the Lord opened the door for us. Behind us lay the dark years of the war that had devastated Europe and in particular our land. Germany was excluded from the community of nations; hunger and privation of all sorts kept it down. During the Holy Year, the doors opened to a pilgrimage to Rome. We encountered the great family of the Catholic Church, in which there are no boundaries, and the Church welcomed us all with the power of reconciliation that comes from God. The isolation had burst open, and we could see that ultimately Christ was the one who was leading the nations beyond all those terrible events and thereby was also bringing our people back together again.  Behind us lay the dictatorship of the Third Reich; ahead of us and beside us, on our borders in the middle of Germany, stood the power of the Soviet Union, bristling with weapons and ready to pounce. We scarcely dared to hope that it would halt at those borders. But in our midst stood Jesus Christ, and we knew that from him — and only from him — salvation could come for all: the empires of men, which were built contrary to God’s will, proved to be empires of inhumanity. The true kingdom of men and of humanity could come about only in the kingdom of God, from Christ, who is the kingdom of God in person. To him you said your Adsum with the passion and determination of your hearts after all that you had experienced: Here I am, Lord — take me into your service for the coming of your kingdom. You, dear friends, held high the flame of this Yes in the dark and bright hours of these fifty years, in storms as well as in good times, and we thank you for that at this time. 

As Benedict XVI Celebrates 70 Years as a Priest, a Homily He Gave on the Priesthood| National Catholic Register

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