Monday, February 27, 2006

The Angelus Message


Below are excerpts from the Pope's Sunday Angelus message, February 25, 2006.

What Lent Means
Christ reveals his identity of Messiah, Israel's bridegroom, who came for the betrothal with his people. Those who recognize and welcome him are celebrating. However, he will have to be rejected and killed precisely by his own: At that moment, during his Passion and death, the hour of mourning and fasting will come. During this period the 'Alleluia' is not sung and we are invited to practice appropriate forms of penitential denial.

On the Lenten Spirit
The Lenten season must not be faced with an "old" spirit, as if it were a heavy and tedious obligation, but with the new spirit of the one who has found in Jesus and his paschal mystery the meaning of life, and now feels that everything must make reference to him. This was the attitude of the Apostle Paul, who affirmed that he left everything behind to be able to know Christ "and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:10-11).

Taking Mary As Our Guide
May our guide and teacher in our Lenten journey be Mary Most Holy, who, when Jesus went with determination to Jerusalem to suffer the passion, followed him with total faith. As a "new amphora" she received the "new wine" prepared by the Son for the messianic betrothal (cf. Mark 2:22). And, in this way, she was the first to receive under the Cross that grace, poured out by the pierced heart of the son, incarnation of the love of God for humanity, that she herself, had requested with a mother's instinct for the bride and groom of Cana (cf. "Deus Caritas Est," Nos. 13-15).

An Invitation
I invite all, moreover, to more intense prayer and penance, in the holy season of Lent, so that the Lord will remove from these beloved nations, and from many other parts of the earth, the threat of such conflicts!

(From Zenit)


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