Pope Benedict celebrated the Feast of Christ the King by celebrating the Mass of the Rings, in which he gave the ring of office to the 24 new Cardinals he created on Saturday.
During his homily he reflected on Christ the King, reigning from the Cross.
During a discourse which described in detail the scene surrounding Jesus on the Cross, the Pope mentioned those who mocked him, and called to him to come down from the Cross. He told the Cardinals that the Gospel of the day calls us to be with Jesus and Mary: “Do not ask him to come down from the cross, but stay there with him.”
The Pope said the cross was the critical point of the faith of Simon Peter and the Apostles. He said he and the Cardinals are called to be deeply united, first of all in the lordship of Christ, thinking and acting according to the logic of the Cross – which is never an easy thing to do.
After the Mass, Pope Benedict greeted pilgrims for the Sunday Angelus from his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
“I extend a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors here today. I greet especially those who have travelled to Rome in order to be present for this weekend’s Consistory, and to pray for the twenty-four new Cardinals… On this feast of Christ the King, we ask the Lord to guide our efforts to proclaim the good news of his Kingdom to people everywhere. Upon all of you, and upon your families and loved ones at home, I invoke God’s abundant blessings.”
The Pope also offered his prayers Christians who suffer persecution and discrimination, especially in Iraq. He said he was spiritually close with these brothers and sisters who give the highest testimony of faith rendered to God.