SUNDAY ANGELUS: 25 MARCH 2001
Christ's image shines in every human being
From contemplating the mystery of the Incarnation, "all believers can draw renewed spiritual energy for proclaiming and constantly bearing witness to Christ, our only salvation, and for faithfully serving the ‘Gospel of life’ that he entrusts to us", the Holy Father said on Sunday, 25 March, before reciting the Angelus. As the Pope reflected on the feast of the Annunciation, he expressed the hope that humanity would "experience a new springtime of life, with respect and acceptance for every human being, in whose face shines the image of Christ". Here is a translation of his reflection, which was given in Italian.
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. Today, 25 March, is the Annunciation of the Lord, but this feast, so deeply rooted in the tradition of the People of God, has been postponed until tomorrow since it coincides with the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
However, we can see a significant connection between today's liturgy of "Laetare Sunday", permeated with mercy and joy, and the Solemnity of the Annunciation. Whereas today we have in some way a foretaste of the light and joy of the paschal mystery, the Solemnity of the Annunciation takes us back to the source of spiritual joy, which is the Incarnation of the Son of God.
My mind returns to the intense moments of the celebration, precisely on this day last year, at which I presided in the Basilica of the Annunication in Nazareth. With deep emotion I knelt in the humble grotto where Mary heard the angel's words and said her "fiat", making herself totally docile to God's will.
2. Today we want to thank God in a special way for the gift of salvation, which Christ brought to the world by his Incarnation: "Et Verbum caro factum est — The Word became flesh". From contemplation of this mystery all believers can draw renewed spiritual energy for proclaiming and constantly bearing witness to Christ, our only salvation, and for faithfully serving the "Gospel of life" that he entrusts to us.
Faced with the culture of death and attacks against human life that, unfortunately, are increasing, may we never fail to defend it at every stage, from the first moment of conception to its natural end. May humanity experience a new springtime of life, with respect and acceptance for every human being, in whose face shines the image of Christ!
For this let us together beseech Her who is "a living word of comfort for the Church in her struggle against death" (Evangelium vitae, n. 105).
After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in various languages.
….I also greet the members of the various groups and movements that are actively working against abortion and in favour of life. Recalling the day on which Mary conceived the Child Jesus, I would like to send a special blessing to women who are expecting a child and especially to those who are in difficult situations. I say to them all: a child conceived is always an invitation to live and to hope.
I wish everyone a peaceful Sunday and a happy feast of the Annunciation.