1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
2 Tim 2:5
5 And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.
1 Cor 9: 24
24 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it!"
The Holy Father was a very hard worker. He started his day very early in the morning, he would pray and meditate in his private Chapel before taking care of his pontifical duties.
He did not count his privileges in order to have an easy life, on the contrary he worked very hard and traveled more than any other pontiff in history.
In his spare time he was meditating and gathering inspirations for his new writings. He was a holy worker, tired but never too tired to avoid his responsibilities.
He could have retired many years before his death, but he chose to work even in the sufferings of his Parkinson's disease and the limitations of his old age.
With Saint Paul he exhorts everyone to run the good race and win, to fight the good fight and conquer.
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JUBILEE OF SPORTS PEOPLE HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Sunday 29 October 2000
In Corinth, where Paul had brought the message of the Gospel, there was a very important stadium where the "Isthmian Games" were held. It was appropriate, then, for Paul to refer to athletic contests in order to spur the Christians of that city to push themselves to the utmost in the "race" of life. In the stadium races, he says, everyone runs, even if only one is the winner: you too run.... With this metaphor of healthy athletic competition, he highlights the value of life, comparing it to a race not only for an earthly, passing goal, but for an eternal one. A race in which not just one person, but everyone can be a winner.