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Wednesday, February 18, 2004


VATICAN CITY, FEB 18, 2004 (VIS) - During this Wednesday's general audience which took place in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope spoke about the canticle, "God the Savior," which opens the Letter to the Ephesians and is recited on Mondays in the liturgy of the Vespers.

John Paul II said that this text exalts "the marvelous work of God, carried out for us through Christ. . In this transcendent plan which includes creation and redemption, the world and human history, God pre-established 'in his benevolence that we should summarize all things in Christ'."

"The supremacy of Christ extends, therefore, to the world as well as to that more specific horizon which is the Church. Christ fulfills the function of 'fullness'." And the Pope continued, quoting Ephesians 1, 9: "For He has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of His will, according to his purpose which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth."

The Holy Father affirmed that the hymn emphasizes "the exaltation of the 'redemption through the blood' of the cross, the 'forgiveness of sins,' the abundant effusion 'of the riches of His grace'." It also highlights the divine filiation of every Christian and "the 'knowledge of the mystery of God's will' through which one enters into the intimacy of the same trinitarian life."

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