John Paul II- Homily

Example for all Fathers
H. H. John Paul II
Angelus Message
March 17, 2002

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. The day after tomorrow, 19 March, we will celebrate the solemnity of St Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary and patron of the universal Church. The extreme discretion with which Joseph carried out the role entrusted to him by God highlights his faith even more, which consisted in always listening to the Lord, seeking to understand his will and to obey it with his whole heart and strength.

This is why the Gospel describes him as a "just" man (Mt 1,19). In fact, the  just  man  is  the  person who prays, lives by faith, and seeks to do  good  in  every  concrete  circumstance of life.

Faith nourished by prayer:  this is the most precious treasure that St Joseph transmits to us. Generations of fathers have followed in his footsteps who, with the example of a simple and laborious life, imprinted on their children's souls the inestimable value of faith, without which every other good runs the risk of being in vain. So even now, I am happy to assure all fathers of a special prayer, on the day dedicated to them:  I ask God that they be men of a robust interior life, in order to fulfil their mission in the family and society in an exemplary way.

2. On the afternoon of Thursday, 21 March, the first day of spring, I will have the joy of meeting with the young people of Rome, who will gather in St Peter's Square to prepare for Palm Sunday and World Youth Day. I invite the young people of all the parishes of the diocese to this appointment. Together we will reflect on the mandate that Jesus entrusts to every baptized person:  "You are the salt of the earth ... you are the light of the world" (Mt 5,13-14).

3. While we think of these upcoming ecclesial events, we look forward to Holy Week and the solemn rites of the Paschal Triduum.

May the Virgin Mary be with us in these days of Lent and make us experience her consoling protection. May every believer find in her a gentle and strong guide to meet Christ with renewed fervour in the mystery of his death and resurrection.


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