Pope Benedict Celebrates 60 Years of Priesthood

2011-06-29 Vatican Radio - Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday celebrated Mass marking the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, patron saints of the city of Rome. During the Eucharistic celebration, the Pope also conferred the Pallium on 41 new Metropolitan archbishops, from countries all over the world, who have been appointed over the past year.

But the Mass also marked a personal moment of reflection for the Pope himself who was celebrating the 60th anniversary of his own ordination to the priesthood.

“Sixty years on from the day of my priestly ordination….

In his homily Pope Benedict said that sixty years on from his ordination, he can still hear the words that were addressed to the new young priests that day in 1951, the words of St John’s Gospel, ‘I no longer call you servants but friends.’ Words, the Pope added, that bring great inner joy and can also be seen as the entire programme of a priestly life.

“Friendship is not just about knowing someone, it is above all a communion of the will..

Reflecting on the meaning of that friendship with Christ, the Pope said it is above all learning to grow in ever greater conformity with His will, to know Him better through the Scriptures, through prayer, through the communion of Saints. Jesus’ words on friendship, he said, should be seen in the context of His commission to His followers to go and make disciples of all nations – a command which challenges us to move beyond the boundaries of our own world and to bring the Gospel to all people. [Source: Vatican News]