Benedict XVI Highlights "Supreme Vocation"

Says All Are Called to Eternal Life

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Eternal life in God is the "supreme vocation" of every person, says Benedict XVI.



Before reciting the Regina Caeli today with those gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope offered a brief catechesis on the Lord's ascension.

The Church will celebrate the feast next Thursday, though in some countries it is transferred to the following Sunday.

"Jesus, after his resurrection, appeared to the disciples during 40 days and afterwards, while they were looking on, he was lifted up," the Holy Father said.

This "last gesture of Jesus," the Pontiff said, has a twofold meaning: "Above all, ascending on 'high,' he unequivocally reveals his divinity."

Benedict XVI continued: "He returned to where he came from, that is, to God, after having fulfilled his mission on earth.

"Moreover, Christ ascends to heaven with the humanity he had assumed and which was resurrected from the dead: That humanity is ours, transfigured, divinized, made eternal."

The Ascension "reveals the 'supreme vocation' of every human person: called to the eternal life of the kingdom of God, kingdom of love, light and peace," the Pope said.

The Holy Father commended to the Virgin Mary the fruits of his apostolic trip to Poland Thursday, "in memory of our beloved Pope John Paul II."