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Monday, March 5, 2012


Vatican City, 4 March 2012 (VIS) - Having returned to the Vatican following his visit to the Roman parish of "San Giovanni Battista de La Salle al Torrino", the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Before the prayer, Benedict XVI recalled how the Gospel on this second Sunday of Lent recounts the episode of the Transfiguration of Christ. He noted that Matthew, Mark and Luke all agree on the essential elements of the narrative: Jesus climbed the mountain in the company of His disciples Peter, James and John, and was transfigured before their eyes. His face and clothing irradiated a dazzling light, then a cloud enveloped the summit of the mountain and the Father’s voice was heard saying: ''This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him".

The Pope explained how the mystery of the Transfiguration must be seen in the context of the itinerary Jesus was following. At that time His mission was coming to its end, and He knew He would have to suffer the cross. He had announced as much to His followers but they had failed to understand and refused to accept. For this reason Jesus took three disciples with Him to the mountain, "to reveal His divine glory, splendour of Truth and of Love. Jesus wanted this light to illuminate the hearts of the people who would have to experience the black night of His passion and death, when the scandal of the cross would be unbearable to them.

"God is light", the Holy Father added, "and Jesus wanted His most intimate friends to experience this light, which dwelt within Him. Following that event, He would become an inner light in them, capable of protecting them from the onslaught of darkness. Even in the darkest night Jesus is the lantern which never goes out".

"We all need an inner light to overcome the trials of life. This light comes from God and it is Christ Who gives it to us. ... Let us climb the mountain of prayer with Jesus and, contemplating His face full of love and truth, let us allow ourselves to be filled from within which His light". After the Angelus prayer, Benedict XVI invited the faithful to dedicate a moment every day during Lent to silent prayer and listening to the Word of God.

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