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Q: Your Excellency's appointment to chair the church's celebration of the Jubilee in the year 2000 is an enormous task. As I understand it, you are responsible for coordinating multiple commissions and celebrations, each concerned with a different aspect of the church's universal celebration of the Holy Year to be held in 2000. Many are wondering why is this celebration so important to the Catholic Church?
A: I think that the celebration of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 should be important not just to Catholics but to the entire Christian world--because in a mere five years we will commemorate the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ and we will concentrate our attention on the mystery of the Incarnation and on the Good News. We will be called to rediscover the purity, beauty and authenticity of the Gospel Message. The Jubilee becomes an occasion for reflecting on how Christ's message has been received in human history. Indeed, it is an opportunity for every Christian--and all churches--to examine their consciences, so to speak, on the ways in which the gospel of peace has been brought to the world through them.
Q: At present, the Holy Father has proposed a three-year program of spiritual preparation leading up to the Holy Year 2000. In 1997, the church will devote itself to the theme of Jesus Christ; in 1998, to the Holy Spirit and in 1999, to God the Father. The year 2000 itself will celebrate the Blessed Trinity. How did the Pope get his inspiration for this important plan?
A: From reading the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, it is clear that the Holy Father's motives are at the same time spiritual, theological, and pastoral. The themes chosen are theological in that they help to focus our attention and concentration on the mystery of …