‘If Christ is resurrected, we can look with new eyes and a new heart at every event of our life, including the most negative. The moments of darkness, of failure and also of sin can be transformed and proclaim a new way.’
In this Monday after Easter, known as “Monday of the Angel,” our hearts are still filled with Easter joy. After the Lenten season, time of penance and conversion, which the Church lived with particular intensity in this Holy Year of Mercy, after the thought-provoking celebrations of the Holy Triduum, we pause again today before Jesus’ empty tomb, and we meditate with wonder and gratitude on the great mystery of the Lord’s Resurrection.
Life conquered death. Mercy and love conquered sin! Faith and hope are necessary to open oneself to this new and wonderful horizon. And we know that faith and hope are gifts of God, and we must ask for them: “Lord, give me faith, give me hope! We are in such need of them!” We let ourselves be pervaded by the emotions that resound in the Easter sequence: “Yes, we are certain of it: Christ is truly risen.” The Lord has risen in our midst! This truth marked indelibly the life of the Apostles that, after the Resurrection, realized again the need to follow their Master and, having received the Holy Spirit, went without fear to proclaim to all what they had seen with their eyes and experienced personally.
In this Jubilee Year, we are called to rediscover and to receive, with particular intensity, the comforting proclamation of the Resurrection: “Christ, my hope, is risen!” If Christ is resurrected, we can look with new eyes and a new heart at every event of our life, including the most negative. The moments of darkness, of failure and also of sin can be transformed and proclaim a new way. When we have touched the depth of our misery and weakness, the risen Christ gives us the strength to rise again. If we entrust ourselves to Him, His grace saves us! The crucified and risen Lord is the full revelation of mercy, present and operating in history. See the Easter message that resounds again today and will resound for all of Eastertide until Pentecost.
Mary was the silent witness of the events of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. She stood beside the cross: she did not yield in face of grief, but her faith rendered her strong. In her tortured Mother’s heart the flame of hope always remained burning. Let us ask her to help us also to receive in fullness the Easter proclamation of the Resurrection, to incarnate it in the concreteness of our daily life.
May the Virgin Mary give us the certainty of faith that every step suffered of our path, illuminated by the light of Easter, becomes a blessing and joy for us and for others, especially for those who suffer because of egoism and indifference.
Therefore, let us invoke her with faith and devotion, with the Regina Caeli, the prayer that substitutes the Angelus for the whole of Eastertide.
AFTER THE REGINA CAELI
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Yesterday, in central Pakistan, Holy Easter was bloodied by an execrable attack, which slaughtered so many innocent persons, the majority families of the Christian minority – especially women and children – gathered in a public park to spend in joy the Easter festivity. I wish to express my closeness to all those who were affected by this vile and senseless crime, and I invite you to pray to the Lord for the numerous victims and their dear ones. I appeal to the civil Authorities and to all the social components of that Nation, that every effort be made to give back security and serenity to the population and, in particular, to the most vulnerable religious minorities. Once again, I repeat that violence and homicidal hatred only lead to grief and destruction. Respect and fraternity are the only way to attain peace. May the Lord’s Easter arouse in us, in an even stronger way, prayer to God, so that the hands of the violent will cease, which sow terror and death, and that love, justice and reconciliation may reign in the world. Let us all pray for the dead of this attack, for their relatives, for the Christian and ethnic minorities of that Nation. Hail Mary …
In the enduring Easter atmosphere, I greet you all cordially, pilgrims from Italy and from various parts of the world to take part in this moment of prayer. And always remember that beautiful expression of the Liturgy: “Christ, my hope, is risen!” Let us say it together three times: “Christ, my hope, is risen!,” “Christ, my hope, is risen!,” “Christ, my hope, is risen!”
I hope that each one of you will spend this Week, in which the joy of the Resurrection of Christ is prolonged, in joy and in serenity. To live this period more intensely, it will do us good to read every day a passage of the Gospel, which speaks of the event of the Resurrection. In five minutes, not more, a passage of the Gospel can be read. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!