Pope Calls for Rediscovery of Meaning of Sunday

In 1st Angelus Address of Advent

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 28, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II called for the rediscovery of the meaning of Sunday, as Advent opened in the year he has dedicated to the Eucharist.

From the window of his study, the Pope addressed the 30,000 pilgrims gathered today in St. Peter’s Square, before praying the midday Angelus with them.

The Holy Father noted it was the first Sunday of Advent, the liturgical period of preparation for Christmas.

During Advent, «we will contemplate with particular fervor the face of Christ present in the Eucharist,» he said.

The Pope emphasized that «Jesus, Incarnate Word, dead and risen, is the center of history. The Church adores him and discovers in him the ultimate and unifying meaning of all the mysteries of faith: the love of God that gives life.»

Mentioning the Eucharistic Congress that the Church in Italy is organizing in Bari from May 21-29, the Holy Father recalled its main theme, «Without Sunday, We Cannot Live.»

The initiative motivated the Pope to encourage the Christian community «to rediscover with new intensity the meaning of Sunday: its mystery, its celebration, its significance for Christian and human life.»

John Paul II, who in recent years has given central importance to the rediscovery of the Eucharist, is concerned about the loss of the meaning of Sunday, as he says in the 1998 apostolic letter «Dies Domini.»

The Holy Father concluded by praying for the intercession of Mary, whom he described as «Eucharistic Woman,» so that the Christian community will receive «with joy the Christ who comes» at Christmas, and will celebrate «worthily the sacramental presence of the Eucharistic mystery.»

Evident in St. Peter’s Square was the scaffolding, used to build the Nativity scene, which will be unveiled on Christmas Eve.

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