Vatican City (AsiaNews) - International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marked today " must be a constant reminder to all so that the horrors of the past are never repeated, all forms of hatred and racism overcome and respect and dignity of the human person promoted".
"The victims of Nazism" and " his terrible tragedy which struck the Jewish people so hard" were summoned by Pope Benedict XVI during an Angelus which saw him also remember the World Leprosy Day and World Day of Prayer for Peace in the Holy Land.
"Today we celebrate - the Pope's words - the 60th World Leprosy Day. I express my closeness to those who suffer from this disease and encourage researchers, health professionals and volunteers, particularly those who are part of Catholic organizations and the Association of Friends of Raoul Follereau. I invoke the spiritual support of St. Damien de Veuster and St. Marianna Cope, who gave their lives for those suffering from leprosy. This Sunday also marks a special day of prayer for peace in Holy Land. I thank all those who are promoting it in many parts of the world and I greet in particular those who are present here. "
Peace, that "that comes from God," in the words of the two children from Catholic Action Rome, who from beside the Pope, read the message of their "Caravan of Peace", followed by the traditional release of two white doves.
A call to "think about the way we live on Sunday" was instead at the heart of the Pope's reflection before the Angelus prayer. Addressing the 30 thousand people present in St Peter's Square, Benedict XVI said, as usual, the Gospel of the day, also shows us that Jesus in the synagogue "Jesus stood up to read and found a passage from the prophet Isaiah that begins: "The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the broken-hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, release to the prisoners"(61:1-2). " And "Jesus, after the reading, in a silence full of attention, said, " Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing" (Lk 4:21)".
"This Gospel passage - he commented - also challenges us "today". First of all, it makes us think about how we live Sunday: as a day of rest and for the family, moreover as the day to devote to the Lord, by participating in the Eucharist, in which we are nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ and his life-giving Word. Second, in our scattered and distracted era, this Gospel invites us to ask ourselves about our ability to listen. Before we can speak of God and with God, we need to listen, and the liturgy of the Church is the "school" of this listening to the Lord who speaks to us. Finally, he tells us that every moment can be propitious for our conversion. Every day (kathçmeran) can become the today of our salvation, because salvation is a story that continues for the Church and for every disciple of Christ. This is the Christian meaning of "carpe diem": seize the day in which God is calling you to give you salvation!".