Ash Wednesday, 1st March 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today, Ash Wednesday, we begin our Lenten journey towards Easter. Lent is essentially a pilgrimage of hope, a season of penance and spiritual renewal that prepares us to share more fully in the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. We relive the experience of the Exodus, in which the Chosen People journeyed towards the Promised Land and, through spiritual discipline and the gift of the Law, learned the love of God and neighbour. Easter is Jesus’ own exodus, his passover from death to life, in which we participate through our rebirth in Baptism. By following Christ along the way of the Cross, we share in his victory over sin and death; by living the new life bestowed by the Holy Spirit in the communion of the Church, we are united more fully to the Lord in the sacraments, prayer and adoration. May our celebration of Lent renew our hope in Christ’s promises, and our commitment to follow him ever more closely, so that at Easter, in union with Mary our Mother, we may rejoice in the gift of eternal life and the triumph of God’s saving love.
Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’odierna Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Corea e Stati Uniti d’America. A tutti auguro che il cammino quaresimale che oggi iniziamo ci porti alla gioia della Pasqua con cuori purificati e rinnovati dalla grazia dello Spirito Santo. Su voi e sulle vostre famiglie invoco la gioia e la pace in Cristo nostro Redentore. Dio vi benedica!
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from Korea and the United States of America. May the Lenten journey we begin today bring us to Easter with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Upon you and your families I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in Christ our Redeemer. God bless you all!