JOHN PAUL II EXPRESSES JOY FOR HIS VISIT TO THE HOLY
VATICAN CITY, APR 2, 2000 (VIS) - Prior to praying the
midday today, the Pope reminded the 50,000 pilgrims who
Peter's Square that this Sunday, known as 'de laetare,'
invitation to happiness.
"Over the past days," said the Pope, "I too have experienced
of being a pilgrim from Rome to the Holy Land, thus building
between the two focal points of the Great Jubilee 2000:
Jerusalem. The spiritual joy I carry in my heart as a
result of this
grace is truly deep and something for which I continually
Lord. I am also grateful to all those who have accompanied
prayer. In those moments, in those places, I felt that
Church was present with me."
John Paul II confirmed that "this joy, of which the liturgy
fourth Sunday of Lent speaks, derives from knowledge of
the mystery of
love that faces us, and that today echoes in the words
of the Gospel
according to John: 'For God so loved the world that he
gave His only
Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but
life.' How can we not feel drawn by this love? God does
not want the
sinner to die, rather to convert and to live."
Following the angelus, the Pope greeted many of the pilgrims
especially a group of faithful from the Czech Republic.
He said: "I am
happy to see, for the first time in many decades, thousands
faithful from the land of the Czechs, led by their bishops.
thank you for your presence and hope you return to your
in faith and Christian hope. I give you my heartfelt blessing."