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  • » 04/06/2008, 00.00


    Pope: Emmaus, the risen Jesus accompanies us to strengthen our faith amid crisis

    Benedict XVI emphasises that "today" we can meet the risen Jesus in the Eucharistic celebration, at the table of the Word and of the Body and Blood of Christ. A greeting for participants at the first Congress of Divine Mercy, which concluded this morning, and an invitation to be witnesses in the world to the Mercy of God, "the spring of hope for every man".

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The evangelical account of the "dejected" and "disappointed" disciples in Emmaus is a message for all Christians: through their encounter with the risen Jesus, they are able to return to a "robust faith" that "is nourished not with human ideas, but with the Word of God and the Eucharist".  This is the commentary of Benedict XVI on the Gospel of this Sunday - the third Sunday of Easter - in which the story is told (cf. Lk. 24:13-35) "of two followers of Christ who, on the day following Saturday, meaning the third day after his death, sad and downcast left Jerusalem and headed toward a nearby village called Emmaus.  Along the road, the risen Jesus came up beside them, but they did not recognise him.  Sensing that they were dejected, he explained, on the basis of the Scriptures, that the Messiah had to suffer and die in order to enter his glory.  He then entered a house together with them, sat at table, blessed the bread and broke it, and at that point they recognised him, but he disappeared, leaving them full of amazement before that broken bread, the new sign of his presence.  And the two immediately returned to Jerusalem and told what had happened to the other disciples".

    Archaeologists in the Holy Land have not yet precisely identified this location, and there are at least three hypotheses.  For the pope, this has an evocative value: in reality, Emmaus is "every place, the road that leads there is the journey of each Christian, and moreover of each man.  The risen Jesus accompanies us on our journey, on our road, to rekindle within our hearts the warmth of faith and hope, and to break the bread of eternal life".

    The pontiff comments on the words used by one of the disciples ("We were hoping . . ."), the manifestation of a faith in disappointment and crisis: "This verb in the past tense says everything: we believed, we followed, we hoped . . . but now it's all over.  Even Jesus of Nazareth, who had shown himself to be a prophet mighty in deed and word, even he failed, and we were left disappointed.  Who has not experienced a moment like this in his life? Sometimes faith itself enters into crisis, because of negative experiences that make us feel abandoned and betrayed even by the Lord".

    But the story of Emmaus suggests instead that it is possible to encounter the risen Jesus "still today".  "Still today", the pope added, departing from his prepared remarks, "Jesus speaks to us in the Scripture; still today Jesus gives us his Body and his Blood".  "The encounter with the Risen Christ", he continues, "gives us a more profound and authentic faith, one tempered, so to speak, in the fire of the paschal event, a faith that is robust because it is nourished not with human ideas, but with the Word of God and the Eucharist".

    "This stupendous text of the Gospel", Benedict XVI concludes, "already contains the structure of the Holy Mass: in the first part, the listening to the Word of God through the sacred Scriptures; in the second the Eucharistic liturgy and communion with Christ, present in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.  By nourishing ourselves at this twofold meal, the Church constantly builds itself up and renews itself day by day in faith, hope, and charity.  Through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, let us pray that every Christian and every community, reliving the experience of the disciples in Emmaus, may rediscover the grace of the transforming encounter with the risen Lord".

    After the prayer of the Regina Caeli, the pope again remembered the organisers of the first World Congress of Divine Mercy, concluded today with a Mass in the basilica of St Peter's, presided over by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna.  "To all the participants", the pope added, "I extend my cordial greeting, which now becomes an assignment: go and be witnesses of the mercy of God, the spring of hope for every man and for the entire world.  Made the risen Lord be with you always!".

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    See also

    07/04/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: Do not be afraid to be Christian and live as Christians
    On Divine Mercy Sunday, Francis says that Jesus came to bring "true, profound peace, " which "comes from the experience of God's mercy." And the "gift" that he leaves his disciples. The "beatitude of faith" of those who believe "without having seen".

    19/04/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: UN Durban review conference on racism "important"
    The UN conference is being boycotted by the United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, and criticized by the Italian government. Benedict XVI hopes for common, constructive work to put an end to every form of racism with education. A greeting to the Orthodox Churches, which are celebrating Pascha today. Thanks for the wishes he received on the occasion of his birthday (April 16) and for the anniversary of his election as pontiff (today, April 19). The Divine Mercy is the source of unity in the Church, "one family" with "one heart and one soul."

    11/04/2010 VATICAN
    Pope entrusts people of Poland and victims of air disaster to the ‘merciful Lord’
    Benedict XVI expresses his ‘profound sorrow’ for the 96 victims of the air disaster, most of the Polish leadership. The hymns of a group of nuns. The memory of Divine Mercy Sunday, desired by John Paul II to mark the canonization of Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska. Priests familiarise people with "the infinite Mercy," like the Cure d'Ars. On May 2, the pope will travel to Turin for the exhibition of the Shroud.

    23/04/2017 13:59:00 VATICAN
    Pope: Mercy is a form of knowledge that opens the door of the mind and heart

    On the Sunday of Divine Mercy, established by Saint John Paul II, Francis reiterated the importance of the experience of mercy, "the concrete form in which we give visibility to the resurrection of Jesus". He also explained the meaning of Sunday ‘in Albis’, and thanked those who sent him Easter greetings.

    15/04/2007 VATICAN
    Pope: My 80 years in the light of Divine Mercy
    During mass in St Peter’s square Benedict XVI thanks the entire Church and his guests – among them a special envoy from Bartholomew Ist – but above all God’s divine mercy, which accompanies and sustains him in his “weaknesses”. The “wounded God” ask us in turn “to let ourselves be wounded for Him”.

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