In his address today before the recitation of the Angelus, the Pope quoted from Chapter 3 of the Gospel according to John: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."
"We hear this consoling announcement at a time when painful armed confrontations threaten the hope of humanity in a better future," the Holy Father told the thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square.
The words of the Gospel confirm that "the love of the Father reaches every human being who lives in the world," he said.
"How can one not see the commitment that springs from such an initiative of God? Conscious of such a great love, the human being cannot but open himself, in fraternal acceptance, toward his fellow men," John Paul II said.
The supreme testimony of the love of God for men took place in the sacrifice of Calvary, where "Christ died and resurrected for us, sealing with his blood the new and final covenant with humanity," he continued.
Since then, the Eucharist commemorates the supreme sacrifice of the cross. In this sacrament, "Jesus, Bread of eternal life and true manna, sustains believers on the way through the desert of history toward the Promised Land," the Holy Father explained.
He concluded with a call to prayer, imploring the intercession of Mary, for the victims of the war and "for peace in Iraq and in every region of the world."