March 14, 2011.
During the Angelus, Benedict XVI reflected on the meaning of sin and emphasized that God does not come into the world to condemn but rather to save mankind. This came during the first Sunday of Lent, in which the Catholic Church remembers the time Jesus spent in the desert while facing temptations.Benedict XVI“The devil is opposed with all his might to the final and universal plan of salvation, as evidenced in particular by the Gospel of Jesus' temptations in the desert which is proclaimed each year during the first Sunday of Lent. Entering this liturgical period means always siding with Christ against sin, facing - as individuals and as Church - the spiritual struggle against the spirit of evil.”
The pope also said that society does not like to speak about sin because in many areas there is no regard for God.Benedict XVI“If we eliminate God from the horizon of the world we can no longer speak of sin. Just like when the sun disappears so do the shadows, the shadows only appear if it is sunny, so the eclipse of God is necessarily the eclipse of sin.”
The pope then changed topics to remember and pray for the victims of the tragic earthquake that struck Japan and left thousands dead.Benedict XVI“I pray for the victims and their families, and for everyone suffering as a result of these tremendous events. And I encourage everyone who, with commendable willingness, is bringing aid.”
After learning of the disaster, the pope immediately donated $150,000 to the country and gave his full support to rescue personnel that he said were making “great efforts to assist the brave Japanese people.”
Benedict XVI also urged those in attendance at the Angelus to pray for him and the Vatican Curia during the week of their spiritual retreat.
Before leaving, he greeted a large group of bikers who had gathered in St. Peter's Square and saluted the pope by revving their engines.