Pope John Paul II used the beginning of preparations for Christmas to urge followers Sunday to also look ahead to the church’s 2000 Jubilee year.
“The next three years for the churches around the world will be a time of hard spiritual and apostolic work,” the pontiff said on the first Sunday of Advent, the season of special Masses and celebrations before Christmas. Advent is also the beginning of the Roman Catholic Church’s liturgical year.
“It is now time to overcome laziness and mediocrity,” the pope told crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square on a windy and raw day.
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