Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Today too I would like to renew my gratitude for the many signs of affection I have received. I am thinking in particular of the numerous Cardinals, Bishops, priests and groups of the faithful, of the Ambassadors and ecumenical Delegations who have come to the Gemelli Polyclinic in these days.
I would like to express special gratitude for the closeness of believers of other religions, Jews and Muslims in particular. Some of them have wanted to come and pray here at the hospital. This is a comforting sign to me for which I thank God.
2. Together let us continue our preparation for Easter, offering our sufferings to God for the good of humanity and for our own purification. In today's Gospel, as he cures the man born blind, Christ presents himself as "the light of the world" (Jn 9: 5). He came to open human eyes to the light of faith. Yes, dear friends, faith is the light that guides us on our way through life, it is the flame that comforts us in difficult times.
3. When a child is born we say that the baby "comes into the light". For believers, who are born to supernatural life through Baptism, Lent is a favourable time to "come into the light", that is, to be reborn in the Spirit, renewing the grace and commitment of Baptism.
May Mary Most Holy help us to obtain from Christ the gift of an ever stronger and clearer faith, so that we may be consistent and courageous witnesses of his Gospel.