My hope is that the Good News of Christ will enter every home and help families to rediscover that only in Christ can man find salvation. In Him it is possible to find the interior peace, hope and strength necessary to face life’s various situations each day, even those most onerous and difficult. He is the Word of God who even today continues to shed light on man’s path; his actions are the expression of the Father’s love for every human being.

“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favour from the Lord. (Is 61:12).

In the synagogue of Nazareth, at the moment of beginning his public ministry, Christ will apply these words of the prophet Isaiah to himself. Today he repeats them for us during this liturgical assembly, and in repeating them he invites us to rejoice again with the words of Isaiah: “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of justice” (Is 61:10).

The Lord Jesus is at hand at every moment of our life. He is at hand if we consider him in the perspective of Christmas, but he is also at hand if we look at him on the banks of the Jordan when he officially receives his messianic mission from the Father; lastly, he is at hand in the perspective of his return at the end of time.

Christ is at hand! He comes by virtue of the Holy Spirit to announce the Good News; he comes to cure and to set free to proclaim a time of grace and salvation, in order to begin, already on the night of Bethlehem, the work of the world’s redemption.

Let us therefore rejoice and exult! The Lord is at hand; he is coming to save us.

Amen!

An excerpt from “Rejoice, the Lord is Near” – preached by Pope John Paul II at the Roman parish of Our Lady of Valme on Sunday, 15 December 1996, the Third Sunday of Advent.

Posted on Legacy of Pope John Paul II
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