27-January-2013 -- Vatican Information Service |

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Christian Meaning Of 'Carpe Diem'

Vatican City, 27 January 2013 (VIS) - "Each moment can be the auspicious 'today' of our conversion. Each day can be the salvific 'today' because salvation is a continuous story for the Church and for each of Christ's disciples. This is the Christian meaning of 'carpe diem'; seize the day that God calls on you to offer you salvation." These were the words that the Pope addressed to the faithful gathered at noon today in St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus.

As is customary, Benedict XVI commented on the Sunday liturgy's readings, particularly the Gospel where St. Luke speaks of Jesus' presence in the synagogue of Nazareth on a Saturday. "As an observer believer, the Lord does not avoid the weekly liturgy rhythm and joins in with the assembly of his fellow countryman to pray and listen to the Scriptures. The rite called for a reading from the Torah or from the Prophets, followed by a commentary. That day, Jesus rose to read and found the passage from the prophet Isaiah that begins: 'The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me to bring Good News to the afflicted.'" On finishing the reading, "in an attentive silence, Jesus says: 'Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.' St. Cyril of Alexandria affirms that 'today', situated between Jesus' first and His final coming, corresponds to the believer's ability to listen and repent. However, an even more radical meaning is that Jesus himself is the 'today' of salvation history because He completes the fullness of redemption."

"This Gospel passage also challenges us 'today'. Firstly, it makes us think of our way of living Sunday; it is a day of family and of rest but even more, it is the day that we dedicate to the Lord, participating in the Eucharist in which we are nourished with the Body and Blood of Christ and with His life-giving Word. Secondly, in our times of dispersion and distraction, this Gospel passage invites us to ask ourselves about our ability to listen. Before we can speak of God and with God, we have to listen to Him, and the Church's liturgy is the 'school' of this listening to the Lord who speaks to us."

After praying the Angelus, the Pop released into the Roman sky two doves that a boy and a girl from Catholic Action had brought to him to conclude the Caravan of Peace in St. Peter's Square, the theme to which the month of January is traditionally dedicated.

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