Pope Holds Mass For 350,000 in Beirut
As Christians gathered in their thousands in the heat of the day, Pope Benedict XVI took mass yesterday in Beirut's city centre.
In light of the political and economic hardship Lebanon is currently facing, the Pope encouraged Christians by speaking about Jesus' own experiences. Instead of a popular, political figurehead, the Pope emphasised that Jesus is a 'Messiah who suffers' and 'serves.'
He spoke about redemptive suffering, and the need to surrender earthly power and glory. Reminding the Lebanese Christians of their heavenly inheritance, the Pope said that it is necessary to 'lose one's life for Christ', in order to save it.
In the region many schools and healthcare facilities are run by Christians but used by the Muslim majority; Pope Benedict emphasised the need to be 'servants of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.'