Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
The time of Lent is ... the culminating point of the journey of conversion and reconciliation which the Jubilee ... offers to all the faithful, so that they can renew their fidelity to Christ and proclaim His mystery of salvation with renewed ardor in the new millennium.
Lent helps Christians to enter more deeply into this "mystery hidden for ages" (Eph 3:9): it leads them to come face to face with the word of the living God and urges them to give up their own selfishness in order to receive the saving activity of the Holy Spirit.
This year ... should become, not only for Christians but also for all people of good will, a precious moment for experiencing the renewing power of God's forgiving and reconciling love.
God offers His mercy to whoever is willing to accept it, even to the distant and doubtful. The people of our time, tired of mediocrity and false hopes, are thus given an opportunity to set out on the path that leads to fullness of life. In this context, Lent of the Holy Year 2000 is par excellence "the acceptable time ... the day of salvation" (2 Cor 6:2), the particularly favorable opportunity "to be reconciled to God" (2 Cor 5:20)
The path of conversion leads to reconciliation with God and to fullness of new life in Christ. A life of faith, hope and love... The celebration of the Holy Year ... calls every Christian to live and bear witness to these virtues in a fuller and more conscious way.
Christians ... look to the new millennium without fear, and face the challenges and expectations of the future in confident certainty which is born of faith in the Lord's promise.
May the millennium which is beginning be a time when, finally, the cry of countless men and women — our brothers and sisters who do not have even the minimum necessary to live — is heard and finds a benevolent response. It is my hope that Christians at every level will become promoters of practical initiatives to ensure an equitable distribution of resources and the promotion of the complete human development of every individual.
Once again, during Lent of the year 2000, He [Jesus] invites us to return to the Father, Who is waiting for us with open arms to transform us into living and effective signs of His merciful love.
(Source: Lenten Message, issued September 21, 1999)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com