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You are here: Documents > The Liturgical Year > Forward of the Calendar of the Holy Year 2000  Back one page.

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Table of ContentsThe "Calendar of the Holy Year 2000" and its characteristics

Forward

1. The Holy Year of 2000, when the Church will celebrate the Second Millennium of the birth of Jesus, her Lord and Saviour, is a "year of jubilee" and also a "liturgical year". These two aspects cannot be separated, but must vivify that unique period of time in which the chronological date, inherent in the number 2000, and the mystical date, that of the sacramental celebration of the mystery of Christ, are harmoniously welded together.

The Jubilee Year in Scripture

2. It is usual, when discussing witht he faithful the significance of the values of a "holy year", to refer to the institution of the "jubilee year" of the the people of Israel. According to Leviticus every fiftieth year, that is the year after "seven weeks of years" (Lv 25:8), was a kind of great sabbatical year: the land was to rest, thus it remained untilled; fields and houses which had been sold returned to their previous owners; slaves were liberated and insolvent debtors were freed from their debts.

Te institution of the "jubilee year" was inspired by principles of social justice which recalled the origins of Israel when the Promised Land was divided between the twelve tribes (cf. Gs 13-21): the land, as it belonged to God, could not be sold in perpetuity; the initial parcelling out of the land could not be simply abolished by a few people accumulating it over a period of time; the Hebrews, freed by God from slavery in Egypt, could not be slaves of earthly masters.

3. The celebration of the "holy year" also recalls the "year of grace" inaugurated by Jesus in the Synagogue of Nazareth (cf. Lk 4:16-20), and the "year of mercy" which the vinedresser asks of the master in the hope that the sterile fig would bear fruit (cf. Lk 13:5-9).

Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, the Lord's Anointed who, according to the prophetic word was "sent to announce a joyful message to the poor (...) and to preach a year of favour" (Lk. 4:18-19); (cf. Is 61:1-2).

Jesus is also, obviously, the vinedresser of the parable who asks the master - the Father, rich in mercy (cf. Eph 2:4), for a "year of mercy" in the hope that the sterile fig - man, unfaithful to the Covenant - would bring forth the fruit of holiness and justice.

The year 2000, marked wityh that great sign of being the Second Millenium from the birth of the Messiah Saviour, is that "year of grace", that "year of mercy", always available, in which man is called to receive the joyful message and be converted to God. If he does not welcome the Word and be converted, there will be no year of grace, no year of mercy, no jubilee year.

Table of ContentsThe "Calendar of the Holy Year 2000" and its characteristics

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You are here: Documents > The Liturgical Year > Forward of the Calendar of the Holy Year 2000  Back one page.

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All contents © copyright, 1998-2014
The Catholic Liturgical Library
http://www.catholicliturgy.com