Vatican City (AsiaNews) - During the Holy Triduum, which begins tomorrow afternoon with the Mass of the Lord's Supper," "we must not limit ourselves to commemorating the passion of the Lord, but enter into the mystery, make his sentiments, his attitudes our own "to be able to say, as He did, that we have done everything in our power for salvation. As Fr Andrea Santoro a missionary killed in 2006 in Turkey did.
The meaning of the Holy Triduum was the focus of the catechesis of Pope Francis for the general audience today, the eve of the days that recall the 'passion, death and resurrection of Christ, the culmination of the entire liturgical year, the summit of our Christian life " .
To 20 thousand people in St. Peter's Square, among whom as usual he toured in his white jeep, the Pope said that "the Triduum opens with the commemoration of the Last Supper. Jesus, on the eve of his passion, offered his body and blood to the Father under the species of bread and wine, and donating them to the Apostles in nourishment, he commanded them to perpetuate the offering in his memory. The Gospel of this Mass, recalling the washing of the feet, expresses the same meaning of the Eucharist in a different perspective. Jesus - as a servant - washes the feet of Simon Peter and the other eleven disciples. With this prophetic gesture, he expresses the sense of his life and his passion, that of service to God and to others: "The Son of man came not to be served but to serve".
"This happens in our Baptism, when the grace of God cleanses us from sin and we vest ourselves in Christ. This happens every time we make the memorial of the Lord in the Eucharist: we enter Communion with Christ the Servant to obey his commandment, to love one another as he loved us. If we approach Holy Communion without being sincerely willing to wash each other’s feet, we do not recognize the Lord's Body. It is the service of Jesus the total gifting of self".
"Then, after tomorrow, in the Good Friday liturgy we ponder the mystery of Christ's death and adore the Cross. In the last moments of his life, before handing over his spirit to the Father, Jesus said: "It is finished. What does this word that Jesus says mean: it is finished'? It means that the work of salvation is accomplished, that the Scriptures find their fulfillment in the love of Christ, the slain Lamb. Jesus, with his sacrifice, has turned the greatest inequities into the greatest love. Over the centuries, there have been men and women who with the testimony of their lives reflect a ray of perfect, full, untouched love. I like to remember a heroic witness of our time, Don Andrea Santoro, a priest of the diocese of Rome and a missionary in Turkey. A few days before he was murdered in Trabzon, he wrote: "I am here to dwell among these people and enable Jesus to do so through me ... One becomes capable of salvation only by offering one's own flesh. The evil of the world must be borne and the pain shared, absorbing it into our own flesh the way Jesus did. " May this example of a man of our times, and many others, support us in offering our life as a gift of love to our brothers and sisters, in imitation of Jesus. And even today there are many men and women, true martyrs who offer their life with Jesus to confess the faith, only for that reason. It is a service, the service of Christian witness to the blood, the service with which Christ redeemed us to the end. And this is the meaning of that word 'It is finished '. How nice it will be when all of us, at the end of our lives, with our mistakes, our sins, even with our good works, with our love for others, we can say to the Father as Jesus' It is 'finished', but not with the perfection with which he said it, rather saying: 'But, Lord, I did everything I could do', 'It is finished '. Adoring the Cross, watching Jesus, we believe in love, in service, in our lives, in the Christian martyrs, and also we will do well to think about the end of our lives. None of us knows when this will happen but we can ask for the grace to be able to say: 'But, Father, I did what I could', 'It is finished ''.
'Holy Saturday is the day when the Church contemplates the' repose' of Christ in the tomb after the victorious battle of the Cross. On Holy Saturday the Church, once again, is identified with Mary: all faith is gathered in Her, the first and perfect disciple, the first and perfect believer. In the darkness that surrounds creation, she is left alone to keep the flame of faith alive, hoping against hope in the Resurrection of Jesus. And in the great Easter Vigil, in which we hear once again the Alleluia, we celebrate the Risen Christ the center and end of the cosmos and history; we hold hopeful vigil for his return, when Easter will have its full manifestation. Sometimes the darkness of the night seems to penetrate the soul; sometimes we think, 'now there's nothing to be done', and the heart can no longer find the strength to love ... But at that dark Christ lights the fire of God's love: a blaze that breaks the darkness and announces a new beginning, something begins in the deepest darkness. We know that the night is darkest just before the day begins. But in that darkness is Christ who wins and who lights the fire of love. The stone of pain is overturned, leaving room for hope. Here is the great mystery of Easter! In this holy night, the Church gives us the light of the Risen One, so we do have the regret of those who say 'it’s too late ...', but the hope of those who are open to a future full of this: Christ has conquered death, and us with Him. Our life does not end in front of the stone of a sepulcher, our life goes beyond with the hope that Christ rose from the tomb. As Christians we are called to be sentinels of the morning, who can see the signs of the Risen Lord, as did the women and disciples who flocked to the tomb at dawn on the first day of the week. "
In these days of the Holy Triduum - concluded the Pope – we must not limit ourselves to commemorating the passion of the Lord, but enter into the mystery, make his sentiments, his thoughts our own, as they invite Apostle Paul us: "Havethe same sentiments of Christ Jesus'. Then ours will be a 'Happy Easter' '.
At the end of the audience, finally, Francis recalled that tomorrow will be the tenth anniversary of the death of John Paul II. "" We remember him as a great witness to the suffering Christ, who died and rose again, and ask him to intercede for us, for families, for the Church, so that the light of the resurrection shine on all the shadows of our lives and fill us with joy and peace. "