Preparing for Easter

Lent: «A Time to ‘Come to the Light'»

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 6, 2005 ( Here is the address read on behalf of John Paul II today before the midday Angelus at St. Peter’s Square. Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Vatican Secretariat of State, read the text.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. Again today I wish, first of all, to renew my gratitude for the many signs of affection I am receiving. In particular, I am thinking of the numerous cardinals, bishops, priests and groups of faithful, of ambassadors and ecumenical delegations that have come during these days to the Gemelli Polyclinic.

I wish to express my special gratitude for the closeness of believers of other religions, in particular Jews and Muslims. Some of them have wished to come here to the hospital to pray. For me, it is a comforting sign for which I thank God.

2. We continue together to prepare for Easter, offering also to God our suffering for the good of humanity and our own purification. In today’s Gospel, Christ, healing the man born blind, appears as «the light of the world» (John 9:5). He came to open man’s eyes to the light of faith. Yes, beloved, faith is the light that guides on the path of life; it is the flame that comforts in difficult moments.

3. When a child is born, one says that «he comes to the light.» For believers, born to supernatural life with baptism, Lent is a favorable time to «come to the light,» namely to be reborn in the Spirit, renewing baptismal grace and commitment.

May Mary Most Holy help us to obtain from Christ the gift of an ever clearer and stronger faith, so that we may be consistent and courageous witnesses of his Gospel.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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