First homily as Pope, October 22, 1978

First homily as Pope, October 22, 1978
Installation as Pope, Oct 22, 1978
In the opening homily of his Pontificate, we can trace the themes that would characterize his preaching and writing. The dignity of the due to spiritual capacity or powers of intellect and will; respect for conscience; appreciation for the depth or abyss of the person, against the reductionism of technology and tyranny; the search for meaning in a world of senseless violence and cold indifference; the illuminating power of the Word; the apostolate to culture and the modern world; the love of ; the relentless courage (“Be not afraid!”). Here are a few lines from the homily; they continue to inspire; they encourage us to prayerful study of his life and work:

The absolute and yet sweet
and gentle power of the Lord
responds to the whole depths of the human person, to his loftiest
aspirations of intellect, will and heart. It does not speak the
language of
force but expresses itself in charity and truth.  .  .  .  

Brothers and sisters, do
not be afraid to welcome Christ
and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve
and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole of
Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power
the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast
fields of
culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows
is in man”. He alone knows it.

So often today man does
not know what is within him, in the
depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the
meaning of
his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns
despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let
Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life. 
From Homily on October 22, 1978 (from Vatican website


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