APOSTOLIC BLESSING FOR THE END OF THE YEAR 2000
AND THE BEGINNNING OF THE YEAR 2001
31 December 2000
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Dear Young People,
1. At this moment we are crossing the threshold of the year 2001 and advancing into the third Christian millennium. On the stroke of midnight, which marks this historical passage, we pause, our hearts full of gratitude, to consider the alternation of events in the past century and millennium.
Tragedies and hopes, joys and sufferings, victories and defeats; everything is dominated by the awareness that God guides human events. He walks with men and does not cease to do great things.
How can we not thank him on this night? How can we fail to repeat to him: "In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternum"? Yes, "In you Lord, have we put our trust: we shall not be put to shame"!
2. At the end of the customary prayer meeting which marks every day of the Jubilee Year and which today takes place on the last night of the year 2000, our gaze is fixed on Christ, Saviour of man. Without him life does not attain its final destiny. It is he, with his wisdom and with the power of his Spirit, who helps us face the challenges of the new millennium; it is he who makes us capable of spending our lives for the glory of God and the good of humanity. We must start again from him and be his witnesses in the future that awaits us.
Let us be attracted by his love and and our journey through life will know the joy that flows from serving him faithfully every day. This is my cordial wish, which I express for all believers and for every man and woman of good will. At this moment I extend a special thought, accompanied by prayer, to those who are suffering, to those in difficulty and to those who are living moments of sorrow. For each one I invoke the provident help of the Lord.
My gaze now broadens to take in the whole world. I hope that the new millennium will bring peace, justice, brotherhood and prosperity to all the nations! In particular, I am thinking of young people, the hope of the future: may the light of Christ our Saviour give meaning to their lives, guide them on the path of life and strengthen them in the witness of the truth and the service of good.
I entrust these wishes to the intercession of Our Lady.
Virgin Most Holy, Dawn of the new times,
help us to look with faith
at past history and at the year that is beginning.
Star of the third millennium,
guide our steps towards Christ,
The Living One "yesterday, today and for ever",
and make our humanity,
advancing with trepidation into the new millennium,
ever more fraternal and united.
A Happy New Year to you all!
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