Papal Address on First Sunday of Advent

The Life of Believers Is a Waiting for Jesus, Says John Paul II

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 1, 2002 ( Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave before reciting the midday Angelus with the faithful gathered today in St. Peter’s Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. Today, the First Sunday of Advent, we begin a new liturgical year. The God of the Covenant has revealed himself in history, and in history the Church celebrates his mystery of salvation: the incarnation, passion, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. So the way of believers is continually renewed, stretching between what Christ has «already» realized and the «not yet» of his full manifestation.

God is the future of man and of the world. If the awareness of God is lost, humanity closes itself to the future and inevitably loses the perspective of its pilgrimage in time. Why be born, why die? Why sacrifice oneself, why suffer?

To these questions Christianity offers a complete response. For this reason, Christ is the hope of humanity. He is the real meaning of our present, because he is our sure future.

2. Advent reminds us that he has come, but also that he will come. And the life of believers is a continuous and vigilant expectation of his coming. The invitation to watch and wait today is underlined with insistence by St. Mark, who, throughout all the new liturgical year, will lead us to discover the mystery of Christ.

In today’s passage, taken from the second of Jesus’ great discourses, the Evangelist makes evident the ultimate meaning of history and of creation itself and he exhorts us to make of our whole existence an incessant search for Christ. From the encounter with him and from the contemplation of his face springs that missionary vigor that makes us come out of our daily dullness to be courageous witnesses of his.

3. On this path of conversion and apostolic commitment we are accompanied by Mary, radiant dawn and sure guide of our steps. She does so in a special way by inviting us to contemplate the joyful mysteries of the rosary. We turn to her with confidence, while we prepare to celebrate, next Sunday, the solemn feast of the Immaculate Conception.

[Translation by ZENIT]

[After praying the Angelus the Holy Father said the following in English:]

I extend a special welcome to the English-speaking visitors present for this Angelus Prayer and, in particular, to the parish groups from the United States who have come to pray at the tomb of St. Peter. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

[Original English text distributed by Vatican Press Office]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation