"God Created Men and Women for Resurrection and Life"
With Ash Wednesday less than two weeks away, our Holy Father has released his annual Lenten message. His central theme this year will be on Baptism, not as "a rite from the past, but the encounter with Christ, which informs the entire existence of the baptized, imparting divine life and calling for sincere conversion..." Pope Benedict XVI traces this theme through many scripture passages, including the writings of Saint Paul.
The Holy Father reminds us that, during Lent, the Church provides "God's Word with particular abundance." He goes on to instruct that "by attentively listening to God, who continues to speak to our hearts, we nourish the itinerary of faith" which began on the day of our Baptism and continues through this Lent. He reminds us to become aware "of our own fragility in order to accept the Grace that frees from sin and infuses new strength in Christ" [Source: Zenit, Feb 22, 2011].
In keeping with his continuing teaching focus on the Scriptures, Pope Benedict XVI's weekly Lenten messages will discuss the role of Baptism in our lives in the light of the Gospel readings for this year's Lenten Sundays: (1) Jesus' temptations in the desert; (2) the Transfiguration; (3) the Samaritan woman; (4) the Man born blind; and (5) the resurrection of Lazarus.