CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 19, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today before praying the midday Angelus with pilgrims gathered at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.
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1. In the face of the evil that manifests itself in different ways in the world, man, afflicted and disconcerted, asks: “Why?”
At this dawn of the third millennium, blessed by the Great Jubilee and rich in potential, humanity is marked by the distressing spread of terrorism. The succession of atrocious attacks on human life perturbs and disquiets consciences and arouses in believers the deeply felt question that recurs in the Psalms: “Why, Lord? How long?”
2. God has responded to this anguished question that arises from the scandal of evil, not with an explanation of principle, as though wishing to justify himself, but with the sacrifice of his own Son on the Cross. In Jesus’ death are found the apparent triumph of evil and the definitive victory of good; the darkest moment of history and the revelation of divine glory; the breaking point is the center of attraction and reconstruction of the universe. “I,” Jesus says, “when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32).
The cross of Christ is, for believers, [an] icon of hope because on it was accomplished the salvific plan of the love of God. Because of this, a few days ago the liturgy invited us to celebrate the exaltation of the Holy Cross, a feast from which the believer draws comfort and courage.
3. With our gaze fixed on Christ crucified, in spiritual union with the Virgin Mary, let us continue on our way, sustained by the power of the resurrection.
[Translation by ZENIT]
[After praying the Angelus, the Pope greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]
I warmly welcome the English-speaking pilgrims and I encourage you to follow Christ with confidence and generosity.