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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pope Speaks on Palm Sunday As Pilgrims Go to Jerusalem

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict commemorated Palm Sunday with a call for people not to let their day-to-day lives get in the way of the search for God.

In a service marking Christ's entry into Jerusalem a week before being crucified, Benedict said those who chose to follow Jesus had to give themselves up completely.

"It is about the fundamental decision to no longer think about utility and earnings, career and success as the ultimate aim of my life, but rather to recognize as authentic criteria truth and love," he told worshippers in St. Peter's Square.

Presiding over the second Palm Sunday of his pontificate, Benedict told tens of thousands of pilgrims that they had something in common with the crowds that cheered Christ's arrival in Jerusalem.

"Like them we praise the Lord with a strong voice for all the wonders we have seen," said the pope, 79, seated on a dais in front of St. Peter's basilica, wearing a gold-colored mitre and red, gold and white vestments.

Thousands of Christian pilgrims and tourists marched through the hills of Jerusalem on Sunday, celebrating the holiday of Palm Sunday by retracing the path of Jesus' return to the holy city 2,000 years ago.

The procession of marchers waving palm fronds and flags, included monks, priests in white robes, clusters of nuns and huge crowds of singing people.

AP, Reuters