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I set off in search of the source of my vocation. It is beating there ... in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. I thank God that during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 I was able to pray-precisely there-in the Upper Room (Mark 14:15), where the Last Supper took place. I transport myself in thought to that memorable Thursday, when Christ, having loved his own to the end (cf. John 13:1), instituted the Apostles as priests of the New Covenant. I see Him bending down before each of us, successors of the Apostles, to wash our feet. I hear Him, as if He were speaking to me-to us-these words: "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'Teacher' and 'Master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought also to wash one another's feet. I have given you an example to follow, so that as I have done for you, you also should do" (John 13:12-16).
Together with Peter, Andrew, James, and John ... let us continue to listen: "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love! If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you" (John 15:9-14).
Is not the mysterium caritatis of our vocation contained in these sayings? These words of Christ, spoken at the hour for which he had come (cf. John 12:27), are at the root of every vocation in the Church. From them flows the life-giving sap that nourishes every vocation: those of the Apostles and their successors, but also every other vocation, because the Son wishes to be a friend to everyone: because He gave His life for all. Here we find what is most important, most valuable, and most sacred: the love of the Father and the love of Christ for us, His and our joy, and also our friendship and fidelity, which express themselves in the fulfillment of the commandments. These words also contain the goal and the meaning of our vocation: to "go and bear fruit that will last" (John 15:16).
The bond of love unites all things; substantially it unites the Divine Persons, but on a different level it also unites human beings and their different vocations. We have entrusted our life to Christ, who loved us first and, as the Good Shepherd, offered His life for us. The Apostles heard Christ's words and applied them to themselves as their personal vocation. So too we, their successors, shepherds of Christ's Church, cannot but feel impelled to be the first to respond to this love, faithfully fulfilling the commandments and offering our life every day for the friends of our Lord.
"The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (John 10:11). In the homily I preached in Saint Peter's Square on October 16, 2003, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of my pontificate, I said: "While Jesus was saying these words, the Apostles did not realize that he was referring to himself. Not even his beloved Apostle John knew it. He understood on Calvary, at the foot of the Cross, when he saw Jesus silently giving up his life for 'his sheep.' When the time came for John and the other Apostles to assume this same mission they then remembered his words. They realized that they would be able to fulfill their mission only because he had assured them that he himself would be working among them."
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last" (John 15:16). Not you, but I!-says Christ. This is the foundation of the efficacy of a bishop's pastoral mission.
Excerpted from Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way by John Paul II Copyright © 2004 by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Citta del Vaticano. Excerpted by permission.
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|The Source of My Vocation||3|
|Successor of the Apostles||13|
|The Day of the Ordination: At the Heart of the Church||23|
|The Ordaining Bishops||29|
|Gestures of the Ordination Liturgy||31|
|The Ring and the "Rationale"||39|
|"Guard What Has Been Entrusted to You" (1 Tim. 6:20)||41|
|The Miter and Crosier||45|
|Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady||51|
|The Ministry of a Bishop||57|
|The Duties of a Bishop||59|
|"I Know My Sheep" (John 10:14)||65|
|The Administration of Sacraments||69|
|The Battle for a Church||79|
|Intellectual and Pastoral Responsibilities||85|
|The Faculty of Theology in the Context of Other University Faculties||87|
|The Bishop and the World of Culture||89|
|Books and Study||93|
|Children and Young People||99|
|The Fatherhood of a Bishop||113|
|Cooperation with the Laity||115|
|Cooperation with Religious Orders||119|
|The Bishop's Residence||131|
|Fatherhood Modeled on the Example of Saint Joseph||137|
|Being with One's People||143|
|The Chapel at 3 Franciszkanska Street||145|
|The Bishop in His Diocese||151|
|The Bishop in His Local Church||155|
|The Council Fathers||163|
|The College of Cardinals||167|
|The Retreat for the Curia During the Pontificate of Paul VI||173|
|The Implementation of the Council||177|
|The Polish Bishops||181|
|God and Courage||187|
|Courageous in Faith||189|
|The Saints of Krakow||193|
|The Holy Land||207|
|Abraham and Christ: "Here I Am; I Come to Do Your Will" (Heb. 10:7)||211|
|Biblical Citations and Magisterial Documents||219|
|Index of Names||225|
Posted April 4, 2005
THIS IS TRULY A VERY SPECIAL BOOK. IT IS WRITTION WITH DEEP CONVICTION AND NEEDS TO BE READ BY PEOPLE OF ALL FAITHS. I WAS ESPICALLY IMPRESSED AND MOVED TO KNOW THAT POPE JOHN PAUL THE 2 AT A VERY EARLY AGE GOT THE CALL FROM GOD TO SERVE AND EVEN DURING WORLD WAR 2 UNDER NAZI OCCUPATION HE WAS HELPING THE OPPRESSED BRINGING FREEDOM AND THE LOVE OF CHRIST TO ALL. POPE JOHN PAUL 2 WAS TRULY A MAN OF GOD AND A DEFENDER OF THE FAITH AND A TRUE AMBASSADOR OF CHRIST. THIS BOOK WILL GIVE YOU A GREAT APPRIEATION OF THE LIFE OF POPE JOHN PAUL 2 CAUSE TO ME IT SHOWS HE WAS ABLE TO RELATE TO PEOPLES SUFFERING AND THERE LIVING UNDER TYRANNY HE WAS THERE, HE EXPERIENCED IT ALL FIRST HAND AND HE WRITES ABOUT MANY FASINATING THINGS IN THIS VERY INSPIRATIONAL MOVING MEMOIR.PLEASE GET A COPY FOR A FRIEND AND A FAMILY MEMBER. AFTER YOU READ THIS YOU WONT BE THE SAME. THIS BOOK IS A GREAT TRIBUTE TO SUCH A WONDERFUL MAN WHO MADE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE IN.
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Posted April 9, 2005
This is an exceptional book. It was written straight from the heart of Pope John Paul II, which is beautiful and very spiritual to read. Whether you are Catholic or not, you should read this book for your own enjoyment. Rest in Peace, Pope John Paul II.
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Posted April 3, 2006
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