April 13, 2000
volume 11, no. 74
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John Paul II Preaches to 30,000 Pilgrims

    VATICAN CITY, APR 12 ( Today, John Paul II went deeper into Christianity's most important and difficult mystery: the Trinity. He carried his listeners to the banks of the Jordan river, where Christ was baptized, and which he himself visited in his recent pilgrimage, to the unique moment when the Father and the Holy Spirit made themselves known.

    With this morning's catechesis, the Holy Father continued the Jubilee series he is dedicating to the Trinity. There were 30,000 pilgrims present from some 20 countries, the majority being students.

    John Paul II evoked the scene when the Father's voice resounded, proclaiming: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." At the same time, the Holy Spirit came down in the form of a dove, making the whole Trinity present.

    The image of the Holy Spirit as a dove appears several times in the Bible and in extra-Biblical texts. The Holy Father quoted several words from the Jewish Talmud to convey how at the creation, the Spirit of God "fluttered over the surface of the waters like a dove who flies around its young without touching them."

    The history of salvation "involves time and space, human ups and downs and the cosmic order, but primarily the three divine Persons. The Father entrusts the Son with the fulfillment of a mission, in the Spirit, in 'justice,' namely, divine salvation," the Pontiff said.

    Therefore, the Trinity is not distant or impersonal. To demonstrate the opposite, the Pope explained that this presence of the three divine Persons is happening at every moment of our life. In emphasis, he quoted a great 4th century Christian intellectual, St. Chromatius, Bishop of Aquileia, who said: "The Father does nothing without the Son and the Holy Spirit, because the Father's work is also the Son's, and the Son's work is also the Holy Spirit's. There is but one grace of the Trinity. Therefore, we are saved by the Trinity, because in the beginning we were created by the Trinity alone." ZE00041209


April 13, 2000
volume 11, no. 74

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