Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday appealed for continued commitment to achieving equitable access to safe water resources adequate to the needs of all.
Speaking after the traditional Angelus prayer on the Sunday that marks the mid-way point of the season of Lent, and in the context of the close – on Saturday – of the VI World Water Forum in Marseille, as well as the World Water Day to be celebrated this coming Thursday, the Pope expressed hope that the success of these initiatives will promote the right to life and the nutrition of every human person, as well as a responsible use of the Earth’s resources in a manner ordered to the common good, in the present and into the future.
Before the Angelus, the focus of the Holy Father’s brief catechesis was the great period of penitential preparation for Easter, in which the Church now finds Herself. He called the Lenten season, “A journey with Jesus across the ‘desert’ - a time, that is, in which to listen more and more closely to the voice of God, and to unmask the temptations that speak within each of us.”
It was a theme to which the Holy Father returned in his remarks to English-speaking pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square:
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for today’s Angelus. This Sunday, we reach the mid-way point of our Lenten journey. As we continue on our way, we keep our eyes fixed upon our goal, when we will accompany our Lord on the path to Calvary, so as to rise with him to new life. May Christ, the light of the world, shine upon you and fill you with his blessings!
The Pope also had words of encouragement for a group of Italian workers facing the prospect of a mass-layoff, promising prayerful support to them and their families in the hope that a solution to their difficult situation might be found.
Finally, Pope Benedict asked all the faithful for prayers in support of his upcoming voyage to Mexico and Cuba. Speaking in Spanish, he entrusted the pilgrimage, “to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is so dearly known in those blessed lands under the names of Guadalupe and Charity.”