Pope Benedict Returns Home

'Be the Light of the World,' the Holy Father told his fellow Germans.

During his Sept. 28 general audience, celebrated in St. Peter’s Square, Benedict XVI reflected on his recent apostolic trip to Germany, defining it as “a great feast of the faith” during which he saw “how it is God gives our lives their deepest meaning, their true fullness.”

As Vatican Information Service reported, the Pope recalled the various stages of his journey, beginning with his visit to Berlin, where, before the Federal Parliament, he “expounded on the foundations of law and the rule of law; that is, the measure for all laws inscribed by the Creator into the very heart of his creation.” After addressing the Bundestag, he met members of the German Jewish community, with whom, “having recalled our shared roots of faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we highlighted the fruits that have thus far emerged from dialogue between the Catholic Church and Judaism in Germany.” In his subsequent meeting with members of the Muslim community, the Pope reflected on “the importance of religious freedom for the peaceful development of humankind.”

Benedict XVI then went on to speak of his satisfaction at seeing such large numbers of people in attendance at the Mass he celebrated at the Olympic stadium in Berlin. On that occasion he dedicated his homily “to the importance union with Christ has for our personal lives as believers and for our being Church, his mystical body.”

“This apostolic trip to Germany,” Pope Benedict concluded, “provided me with an opportunity to meet the faithful of my own homeland, to confirm them in faith, hope and love, to share with them the joy of being Catholic. But my message was also addressed to the German people as a whole, inviting them to look to the future with trust. It is certain that ‘where God is, there is a future.’”

The Register offered a pictorial look at the trip in the print edition.