|1999: The Year
of the Father
"To see things from the perspective of God the
Father "who is in Heaven"
The Christian life is a pilgrimage to the Fatherís House. This year
should have led the believer to undertake a journey of authentic conversion, a
conversion with two aspects:
1. negatively, from sin (through the Sacrament of Penance), and,
2. positively, by choosing good values (the ethical values in the
natural law, confirmed & deepened by the Gospel).
There should be an emphasis on the virtue of charity (1 John 4:8
"God is love."). Love of God and love of neighbor is the
summing up of the moral life. It has God as both its source and its goal.
The Church also reminds us that Jesusí preached to the poor especially, and
the Church herself has a preferential option for the poor.
Thus, in the Year of the Father the Church was called to a
re-commitment to justice and peace.
In light of this, and the meaning of the Jubilee, the Holy Father asked
- for a canceling, or at least the reduction, of international debts which
threaten the life of many nations
- for a renewed reflection on the
challenges of our times, in the area of rights
- for the authentic promotion of marriage and family
- for meeting the challenge of secularism. This crisis of civilization
must be met with the civilization of love, founded on universal values of
peace, solidarity, justice and liberty, which find their full attainment
- for meeting the challenge of the great religions (through interreligious
dialogue), avoiding misunderstandings, syncretism and a facile and
- seeing Mary, the highly favored daughter of the Father
as the model of love for God and neighbor, of "doing whatever Christ
tells you" (Jn. 2:5).
The Great Jubilee - Year of the Father