“When we pray, we never do it alone: even if we don't think about it, we are immersed in a majestic river of invocations that precedes us and continues after us”. Francis recalled "in prayer the victims of the floods that hit Indonesia and East Timor in recent days". Vatican Athletics continue in their commitment to "spreading the culture of fraternity in the sports field".
Young people killed in Myanmar, oppressed in Bangkok, imprisoned in Hong Kong, with no prospects for the economic crisis ...Pope Francis’ long list of social "plagues". Easter is not a vague symbol or psychological consolation. Nor is it just a past event.
At the Regina Caeli, which replaces the Angelus during the Easter period, Pope Francis explains that "Christ’s tomb was not opened by some physical phenomenon, rather by the Lord’s intervention". "All the plans and resistances of Christ’s enemies and persecutors have been in vain". The guards choose to remain silent "in the name of the god of money". “Take every opportunity to be witnesses of the joy and peace of the Risen Lord”. Greetings to the elderly and the sick.
“In embracing the cross, Jesus bestowed meaning on our sufferings,” said Francis in his Easter message and Urbi et Orbi blessing. The pontiff expressed hope for people with COVID-19, the poor affected by the economic crisis, young people, migrants. He also mentioned certain countries and places: Haiti, Myanmar, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Nagorno Karabakh, eastern Ukraine, Sahel, Nigeria, Tigray, and Cabo Delgado. Without citing any one country, Francis remembered all the places where religious freedom is denied.
Commentary on the Gospel of the Resurrection (John 20:1-9).
Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Vigil at the Altar of the Chair. “Going to Galilee” means to be able to “always start over”. “In these dark months of the pandemic, let us listen to the Risen Lord as he invites us to begin anew and never lose hope.” “[F]aith is not an album of past memories; Jesus is not outdated.” Galilee is “the setting of daily life [. . .] Jesus, the Risen Lord, loves us without limits and is there at every moment of our lives.”
Once again an empty St Peter's Square is the backdrop to the liturgy. Meditations and prayers are proposed by the Agesci Scouts “Foligno I” (Umbria) and by the Roman parish of Holy Martyrs of Uganda.
In the absence of Pope Francis, the Dean of Cardinals celebrated the Mass of “the Lord’s Supper” at St Peter's Basilica. The ceremony, held in the afternoon, did not include the washing of the feet, due to anti-epidemic regulations. For the same reason, no adoration of the Eucharist took place.
Celebrating the Chrism Mass, Francis recalls that "the announcement of the Good News is mysteriously linked to persecution and the Cross". "It is true that the cross is present in our preaching of the Gospel, but it is the cross of our salvation. Thanks to the reconciling blood of Jesus, it is a cross that contains the power of Christ’s victory, which conquers evil and delivers us from the evil one.”
The Easter Triduum, which begins tomorrow, was the theme of Francis' catechesis for the general audience. Recalling that Jesus said: "There are two lords in the world, two: God and money", Francis affirmed that "Whoever serves money is against God". " Christian men and women have been paid not to acknowledge in practice the resurrection of Christ.”
The book “Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People” presented in the Vatican. In the first half of 2020, 14.6 million people were displaced: 9.8 million due to natural disasters and 4.8 million due to conflict and violence. The result of the experiences in the field of Catholic structures and organizations and approved by the Pope, the document is developed in ten points.
Pope Francis spoke today to priests and students from the Mexican Pontifical College focusing his address on the priestly vocation. In it, he said, we must “not underestimate the worldly temptations that can lead us to insufficient personal knowledge, self-referential attitudes, consumerism and multiple ways to evade our responsibilities.”
Commentary on the Palm Sunday Gospel, B (Mark 14,1-15,47).
Ahead of the Angelus prayer, at the conclusion of the Palm Mass, Pope Francis asks for a prayer for the victims of violence and recalls that in the second year of the pandemic "the economic crisis has grown heavy". Like Jesus and Mary, we too can walk a "daily way of the cross", by looking at "the faces of many brothers and sisters in difficulty".