VATICAN CITY, FEB. 24, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of John Paul II´s address at St. Peter´s Square before the midday Angelus. He gave the address in Italian.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. Today, the second Sunday of Lent, the Gospel account of the transfiguration of Christ is proposed to us again. Before facing the passion and cross, Jesus went “up a high mountain” (Matthew 17:1), commonly identified as Tabor, together with the apostles Peter, James and John. He “was transfigured” before them: His face and whole person shone with light.
Today´s liturgy invites us to follow the Master on Tabor, on the mountain of silence and contemplation. It is the grace that I, together with collaborators of the Roman Curia, have had in this week of Spiritual Exercises, an experience I recommend to all, although in ways adapted to the different vocations and conditions of life. It is important, especially in the time of Lent, that Christian communities become authentic schools of prayer (see “Novo Millennio Ineunte,” No. 33), where we allow ourselves to be “conquered” by the mystery of God´s light and love (see Philippians 3:12).
2. On Tabor we understand better that the life of the cross and of glory are inseparable. In accepting the Father´s plan to the end, in which it was written that he would have to suffer in order to enter into his glory (see Luke 24:26), Christ experiences, in anticipation, the light of the resurrection.
In carrying the cross every day with faith full of love, we also experience, together with the weight and hardness, the force of renewal and consolation. With Jesus, we receive this interior light especially in prayer.
Life changes when the heart has been “conquered” by Christ. The most generous choices, especially the persevering, are the fruit of profound and prolonged union with God in prayerful silence.
3. We ask the Virgin of silence, who knew how to preserve the light of faith even in the darkest hours, for the grace of a Lent vivified by prayer. May Mary enlighten our hearts and help us to adhere faithfully to God´s plan in every circumstance.
[Translation by ZENIT]