VATICAN CITY, FEB. 19, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today when he recited the midday Angelus with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters!
These Sundays the liturgy presents in the Gospel the account of several healings wrought by Christ. Last Sunday, the leper; today is the turn of the paralytic whom four people took on a pallet to Jesus. Seeing their faith, he said to the paralytic: "My son, your sins are forgiven" (Mark 2:5).
Acting thus, he showed that above all he wants to heal the spirit. The paralytic is [an] image of all human beings whom sin prevents from moving freely, from walking on the path of goodness, to give the best of themselves. In fact, evil, nestling in the spirit, binds man with the cords of deceit, anger, envy and other sins and, little by little, paralyzes him.
That is why Jesus, arousing scandal in the scribes present, says first: "Your sins are forgiven," and only afterward, to show the authority that has been conferred on him by God to forgive sins, adds: "Rise, take up your pallet and walk" (Mark 2:11) and heals him completely. The message is clear: Man, paralyzed by sin, needs the mercy of God that Christ has come to give him so that, healed in his heart, the whole of his life can again flourish.
Also today humanity bears the signs of sin, which prevents it from progressing quickly in those values of fraternity, justice and peace which it has also proposed itself in solemn declarations. Why? What blocks its way? What paralyzes this integral development?
We know well that, in the historical plane, the causes are manifold and the problem is complex. But the Word of God invites us to have a look of faith and to have confidence, as those people who carried the paralytic, whom only Jesus can really cure. The basic choice of my predecessors, especially of our beloved John Paul II, was to lead the men of our time to Christ the Redeemer so that, through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, he could heal them.
I have also wanted to proceed on this path. In a particular way, with the first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," I wished to indicate, to believers and to the whole world, God as source of authentic love. Only the love of God can renew man's heart, and only if the heart of paralyzed humanity is healed can it get up and walk. The love of God is the true force that renews the world.
Together, let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary, so that all men will be open to the merciful love of God, and thus the human family might be profoundly healed from the evils afflicting it.
[Translation by ZENIT]
[The Holy Father then greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims at today's Angelus, including students from Notre Dame High School in Connecticut.
In a special way our hearts turn to all those suffering the devastating consequences of the landslide in the Philippines. I ask you to join me in praying for the victims, their loved ones and all those affected. May the grieving families experience the consolation of the Lord's presence and rescue workers be assured of our concern and support.
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