SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 6 January 2002
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. The Solemnity of the Epiphany celebrates the universality of the Church and her missionary vocation. The Church rejoices today because "the true light that enlightens every man" (Jn 1,9) has been manifested to all peoples.
Like Mary, she rejoices to see persons of every race, nation and culture enter the humble cave of Bethlehem to adore the Son of God. At the same time, increasingly she realizes how urgent it is to be "light" to spread the saving message to every people. The missionary mandate is for all believers, called to proclaim and witness to the mystery of salvation that was realized in the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of Christ.
The new Bishops that I had the joy of consecrating this morning will dedicate all their energy especially to the demanding missionary task. I greet them cordially, their families and those who join in their spiritual joy. Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us back up their ministry with our prayer so that they will be sound guides of the flock that the Lord has entrusted to them.
May the heavenly Mother of God, who holds on her knees the Wisdom of the Father, obtain for Christians the gift of full communion and peace. Through her intercession, may the life giving light of the mystery of the Birth of our Lord enlighten every person of good will.
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