HomeFrom RomeBenedict XVI , Angelus, 21.03.2010
From Rome

Benedict XVI , Angelus, 21.03.2010

Tags: Contrition, Conversion, Jesus Christ, Justice, Pope Benedict XVI, Penance, Forgiveness
  In his Angelus prayer, the pope asked Catholics to be understanding of people but not solely of their sins. He urged people to follow Jesus example, who condemned sin but didnt condemn the sinner. After the Angelus prayer, the Pope recalled how next Sunday, Palm Sunday, will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first World Youth Day.

VATICAN CITY, 21 MAR 2010 (VIS) - At midday today, the fifth Sunday of Lent, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The Pope commented on the Gospel reading from today's liturgy, St. John's narrative of how Jesus saved the adulteress from being stoned to death. "It is", he said, "a very dramatic scene. A person's life, and Jesus' own life too, depend on the words He uses. Indeed, the hypocritical accusers pretend to entrust judgement to Him when, in fact, it is precisely Him they want to accuse and to judge". Yet, "He knows what is in the heart of each man, He wants to condemn sin, but to save the sinner and unmask hypocrisy".

The Evangelist, Benedict XVI went on, "highlights a particular detail: while the accusers insistently question Him, Jesus bends down and writes with His finger in the dust. St. Augustine noted how this gesture shows Christ as the divine lawmaker, for God wrote the Law with His finger on the tablets of stone. Thus Jesus is the Lawmaker, He is Justice personified. And what sentence does He give? 'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her'. These words are full of the disarming power of truth, which breaks down the wall of hypocrisy and opens people's minds to a greater justice, that of love".

"By absolving the woman of her sin, Jesus introduces her to a new life, one oriented towards goodness: 'Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again'. ... God only wants goodness and life for us. He provides for the health of our souls through His ministers, freeing us from evil with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that no-one may be lost and everyone may find the way to conversion.

"In this Year for Priests", the Pope added, "I wish to encourage pastors to imitate the saintly Cure of Ars in the ministry of sacramental Forgiveness, that the faithful may rediscover its meaning and beauty, and be healed by the love of the merciful God, Who 'even forces himself to forget sin, so that He can grant us His forgiveness'".

After the Angelus prayer, the Pope recalled how next Sunday, Palm Sunday, will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first World Youth Day, an initiative of John Paul II. "For this reason", he said, "at 7 p.m. this Thursday in St. Peter's Square I hope to see many young people of Rome and Lazio for a special festive celebration".

Related articles


What is Lent?

Lent is the 40 days before Easter during which Christians prepare for the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. It's meant to remember the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert preparing himself for public preaching.