Holy Father emphasizes reflecting on the Passion of Christ as Easter approaches

.- Prior to Sunday’s Angelus, the Holy Father celebrated Mass at the parish of the Holy Face of Jesus, in Rome.  He reminded the parishioners that God is always near, especially in times of suffering and encouraged them to reflect on Jesus’ mindset as he entered into his crucifixion and death.

At the church, which was dedicated to St. Maximilian Kolbe in 1982, Pope Benedict first greeted parishioners under heavy rain.  He said, “Unfortunately it is raining, but the sun is on its way.” "We know that the sun, though it may be hidden, exists; that God is near, that He helps us and accompanies us. In this way do we wish to progress towards Easter, knowing that suffering and difficulties are part of our life, but aware that behind them is the sun of divine goodness."

Later that morning, during his homily, Pope Benedict reflected on Sunday’s Gospel and exhorted the faithful to enter into Jesus’ state of mind in the period running up to Easter, reliving the mystery of His crucifixion, death and resurrection, not as mere spectators but as participants.

In his closing remarks, he addressed the youth present in the audience: "Allow yourselves to be attracted by Jesus. Looking at His Face with the eyes of faith, ask Him: Jesus, what do You want me to do with You and for You? Listen to Him and, guided by His Spirit, accept the plans He has for each one of you."

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