“I remember him in prayer with affection as I think of you all. While we journey through Lent and prepare for the feast of Easter, we come with joy to the day when we will also venerate as a saint this great pope and witness of Christ, and rely even more on his intercession.”
The pope also said that a simple and sincere person is able to be enlightened by Christ. At first the person may only see Christ as one man among many, then later as a prophet, and finally as the Lord. When this happens, the pope said that true joy and peace can be experienced.
“When our lives are enlightened by the mystery of Christ, we experience the joy of being liberated from all that threatens its fulfillment. These days, as we prepare for Easter, let us rekindle the gift we received in Baptism, that flame that sometimes is threatened and stifled. Let us nurture that gift through prayer and charity towards our neighbor.”
The pope said, reflecting on the Gospel of the Third Sunday of Lent, that though God desires to heal us, people often harden their hearts like the Pharisees did and therefore remain distant and indifferent to Christ. They do this, the pope said, often because they are overcome by the fear of being judged by others.