WE CRY OUT: SAVE US, O SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD!
Pope John Paul II
Angelus, December 12, 1996

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. This First Sunday of Advent opens the new liturgical year and at the same time begins the journey of immediate preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. I would like to take the opportunity offered by these Sunday Angelus meetings to reflect together with you on this great ecclesial event.

As I mentioned in Tertio millennio adveniente, the next three years will be a time of strong spiritual and pastoral endeavour for the local Churches throughout the world. They are indeed called to a journey of conversion whose primary focus, in this first year, 1997, will be meditation on the mystery of Christ (cf. n. 40). Let us fix our gaze on Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary, the Word made flesh, a man like us who died and rose again for us, to present to him the needs and expectations of the people of our time. To him we cry out with confidence: Save us, O Saviour of the world!

2. Advent, which begins today, revives in believers their sense of watchfulness and active hope. We must ensure that the whole journey of preparation for the Jubilee has this aspect of Christmas expectation. With the Jubilee, in fact, the Church intends to spur the hearts of all to grow in their listening to God, and in the constant search for fraternal solidarity.

It is time to overcome laziness and mediocrity, and to renew our whole life in the light of the Gospel. It is time to rediscover the value of prayer. Let us thus prepare ourselves in a more adequate way for the Jubilee, which must be a great "prayer of praise and thanksgiving, especially for the gift of the Incarnation of the Son of God and of the Redemption which he accomplished" (Tertio millennio adveniente, n. 32). Prayer must be joined to a serious effort of charity towards our needy brothers and sisters in whom, in a special way, we meet and serve Christ, the Redeemer of man.

3. May Mary, the Virgin of Advent, guide us in the various stages of preparation for the Jubilee. And how could it be otherwise? Because of her "here I am", the Lord's coming was possible. May her answer to Christ our Saviour live again in the Church today and re-echo forcefully throughout humanity on the way towards the third millennium.


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