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Jesus draws all up to God, sin drags us back down, Pope says in Palm Sunday homily

Catholic World News - April 18, 2011

Jesus wants to lift every human being up to heaven, Pope Benedict XVI said in his homily as he celebrated Mass on Palm Sunday in St. Peter’s Square.

The Pope led the blessing of the palms and the traditional procession into the Square, then presided at Mass and the reading of the Passion. In his homily, he focused on Christ’s desire to bring all mankind to “the heights of God Himself.”

“And yet the force of gravity which draws us down is powerful,” the Pope said. That gravitational force is the temptation to sin, he explained, and we have not escaped it. On the contrary, advances in technology have made men capable to even greater evil:

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Our possibilities for evil have increased and appear like menacing storms above history. Our limitations have also remained: we need but think of the disasters which have caused so much suffering for humanity in recent months.

“Everything depends on our escaping the gravitational field of evil,” the Pope said.

At the conclusion of the Mass, which also marked the observance of World Youth Day in Rome, the Pope told the young people in the congregation that he is looking forward to the international World Youth Day festivities in Madrid in August.

As he prepared to leave St. Peter’s Square, the Pope was apparently caught by surprise when a large number of people in the audience joining in singing “Happy Birthday.” The Holy Father had turned 84 one day earlier: April 15.

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