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Who comes down to serve

· Benedict XVI celebrates Mass for his former students ·

We are on the right path if we try to be people who “come down” to serve, who bear God's free gift to the world. Benedict XVI said this at Mass celebrated on Sunday morning, 1 September, in the Chapel of Holy Mary Mother of the Family in the Governorate of Vatican City State, on the occasion of the traditional summer seminar held for his former students, known as the “Ratzinger Schülerkreis”. The annual event took place at Castel Gandolfo: this year, however, Benedict XVI did not take part in the seminars. The theme of the 30th meeting was: “the question of God in the secular context” in light of the philosophical and theological reflection of Rémi Brague, French philosopher and historian who received the Ratzinger Prize for theology in 2012.

Everyone wants to find his place in life: but what really is the right place? Ratzinger's homily was, in essence, an answer to this question using Sunday's Gospel, in which Jesus invites us to choose the lowliest place. “A place that can seem very good, may prove to be a very bad one”, he said: it happens that “the first” are uprooted and suddenly become “last”. During the Last Supper the disciples fight over the best seat but Jesus shows himself as the one who serves. “He was born in a stable” and “he died on the Cross”, Benedict XVI said, “he tells us that the right place is the one close to him, the place according to his measure”. And the apostle, in so far as he is sent by Christ, “is the least in the opinion of the world”, that is why he is close to Jesus.

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