Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "On the horizon of the desert", which Jesus crosses with us through Lent, "looms the culmination of his mission ... the Cross ... The Cross of Christ is the summit of love, that gifts us salvation",said Benedict XVI to pilgrims before the Angelus summarizing the meaning of the gospel of the fourth Sunday of Lent (John 3, 14-23), which links Jesus being lifted up onto the cross to the serpent in the wilderness, lifted up by Moses. "Even Jesus will be lifted upon the Cross, that whoever is in danger of death becauseof sin, by turning in faith to He who died for us, might be saved."
The Pope again quotes St.John: "For God did not send his Son into the world tocondemn* the world, but that the world might be savedthrough him" (Jn 3:17).
He adds: "If the merciful love of God is infinite, to the point where hegave his only Son as a ransom for our lives, then our responsibility is great:each one of us in fact must be recognize that we are ill, in order to behealed, everyone must confess their sin, for God's forgiveness, already givenon the Cross, to take effect in our heart and life. "
"Sometimes - concluded the Pope - man loves the darkness more than light,because he is attached to his sins. But it is only in opening up to the light, infrankly confessing our sins to God, that we find true peace and true joy. It isimportant then to approach the Sacrament of Penance regularly, especially inLent, to receive the Lord's forgiveness and intensify our path of conversion. "
Before the Marian prayer,Benedict XVI asked the faithful to pray for his next trip from March 23 thatwill take him to Mexico and Cuba "Let us entrust this visit- he added - tothe intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, beloved and revered in these twocountries that I am going to visit. "
He also thanked all those who ahead of tomorrow "have remembered me in prayer,in for my Saint's name day", which is tomorrow, the Feast of St. Joseph.
After the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalled the VI World Water Forum, which ended yesterday in Marseille and added: "this Thursday [March 22] will mark World Water Day, which this year highlights the fundamental link between this precious and limited resource with food safety. I hope that these initiatives will help to ensure equitable, safe and adequate access for all to water, thereby promoting the rights to life and nutrition of every human being and aresponsible and supportive of use of the goods of the earth, for the benefit ofpresent and future generations".