Pope to sign Encyclical on Eucharist today

 Calling it "the fulcrum of the entire liturgical year," Pope John Paul II dedicated yesterday's general audience, as he traditionally does during Holy Week, to the Easter Triduum which starts today, Holy Thursday. That is also the day, he noted, that he will sign his 14th encyclical letter. "While the Chrism Mass," he began his catechesis, "which is normally celebrated Holy Thursday morning, especially emphasizes the priestly ministry, the rites of the Mass of the Lord's Supper are a pressing invitation to contemplate the Eucharist, the central mystery of Christian life and faith. Precisely to underline the importance of this sacrament I wished to write the Encyclical Letter 'Ecclesia de Eucharistia', that I will have the joy of signing during the Mass of the Lord's Supper. In this text I intend to give every believer an organic reflection on the Eucharistic sacrifice that gathers within it the entire spiritual good of the Church." "On Good Friday, a day of penance and fasting," the Pope observed, "we will commemorate the passion and death of Christ, remaining in absorbed adoration of the Cross. ... Following the drama of Good Friday is the silence of Holy Saturday, a day filled with longing and hope. ... During the Easter vigil everything is renewed in the Risen Christ. From every angle of the earth the hymns of the Gloria and Alleluia will rise to heaven while the light breaks through the darkness of the night. On Easter Sunday we will exult with the Risen One, receiving from Him the wish for peace." "Commemorating this central mystery of faith," explained the Holy Father, "involves a commitment to fulfill it in the concrete reality of our existence. It means recognizing that the passion of Christ continues in the dramatic events which, unfortunately, even in these times, afflict so many men and women in every part of the earth." "The mystery of the Cross and Resurrection," concluded John Paul II, "assures us however that hatred, violence, blood and death never have the last word in human affairs. The definitive victory is Christ's and it is from Him that we must start again, if we wish to build for everyone a future of authentic peace, justice and solidarity." Source: VIS

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