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Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Evangelium vitae

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"Death shall be no more" ( [link] Rev 21:4): the splendour of the Resurrection

 

105. The angel's Annunciation to Mary is framed by these reassuring words: "Do not be afraid, Mary" and "with God nothing will be impossible" ( [link] Lk 1:30,  [link] 37). The whole of the Virgin Mother's life is in fact pervaded by the certainty that God is near to her and that he accompanies her with his providential care. The same is true of the Church, which finds "a place prepared by God" ( [link] Rev 12:6) in the desert, the place of trial but also of the manifestation of God's love for his people (cf.  [link] Hos 2:16). Mary is a living word of comfort for the Church in her struggle against death. Showing us the Son, the Church assures us that in him the forces of death have already been defeated: "Death with life contended: combat strangely ended! Life's own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign".141

The Lamb who was slain is alive, bearing the marks of his Passion in the splendour of the Resurrection. He alone is master of all the events of history: he opens its "seals" (cf.  [link] Rev 5:1-10) and proclaims, in time and beyond, the power of life over death. In the "new Jerusalem", that new world towards which human history is travelling, "death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away" ( [link] Rev 21:4).

And as we, the pilgrim people, the people of life and for life, make our way in confidence towards "a new heaven and a new earth" ( [link] Rev 21:1), we look to her who is for us "a sign of sure hope and solace".142

O Mary,

bright dawn of the new world,

Mother of the living,

to you do we entrust the cause of life

Look down, O Mother,

upon the vast numbers

of babies not allowed to be born,

of the poor whose lives are made difficult,

of men and women

who are victims of brutal violence,

of the elderly and the sick killed

by indifference or out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in your Son

may proclaim the Gospel of life

with honesty and love

to the people of our time.

Obtain for them the grace

to accept that Gospel

as a gift ever new,

the joy of celebrating it with gratitude

throughout their lives

and the courage to bear witness to it

resolutely, in order to build,

together with all people of good will,

the civilization of truth and love,

to the praise and glory of God,

the Creator and lover of life.

 

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 25 March, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1995, the seventeenth of my Pontificate.

 




141 Roman Missal, Sequence for Easter Sunday.



142 Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 68.






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