|1997: The Year
The theme of the first year of preparation was
"Jesus Christ the Savior of the World, yesterday, today and for
ever." (cf. Heb 13:8)
The Holy Father noted that since "ignorance of Scripture is
ignorance of Christ," Christians should turn with renewed interest to
the portrait of Christ contained in Scripture. This includes not only the
New Testament, which witnesses to the life and teaching of Jesus, but also
the Old Testament, which prepared the way for the Messiah.
The Holy Father gave the Church some particular themes to guide her
meditation during the Year of Jesus.
- Christ, Savior and Proclaimer of the Gospel (Lk 4)
- the Incarnation and Jesus' birth from the Virgin Mary (Lk 1-3; Mt
- the necessity of faith in Christ for
salvation (John 3, Acts 2-4+, Romans)
- renewed appreciation of Baptism (the foundation of communion
among all Christians). The Holy Father called Christians to look toward
Christ the one Lord, and hoped for a favorable response from other
Christians to the Jubilee, with its message of the centrality of Christ
- calls for detailed study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
a "faithful and systematic presentation
of the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition of the Church
and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the
Fathers, Doctors and Saints of the Church..."
"To be realistic, we need to enlighten the consciences
of the faithful concerning errors regarding the person of Christ,
clarifying objections against him and the church."
The Holy Father also noted the indirect presence of the Blessed
Virgin Mary in the preparatory phase for the Great Jubilee. The
Mystery of Her Divine Motherhood is a model of faith put into practice,
and serves as an example for the Church so that she may become more
perfectly Christís Spouse.
Luke 11:27-28 While he was speaking, a woman
from the crowd called out and said to him, "Blessed is the womb
that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed."+  He
replied, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and
Luke 1:38 Mary said, "Behold, I am the
handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your
Luke 1:48 For he has looked upon his
handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me
2000: The Great Jubilee - Year of Jesus