Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In the same manner in which the risen Jesus appeared among the apostles, even today "the Savior assures us of his real presence among us through the Word and the Eucharist" and just as "He gave peace "to the disciples, "He is still gifting us His peace and opens up life to happiness and invites us to become His witnesses to the ends of the earth, in our world marked by evil and suffering, pain and fear " .
There are 30 thousand people in St. Peter's Square to pray the Regina Caeli, which replaces the Angelus during the period between Easter and Pentecost. Benedict XVI spoke to them of today's Gospel in which "the risen Jesus appears among the disciples, who were incredulous and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost." "Since the resurrection does not erase the marks of crucifixion, Jesus shows his hands and feet to the Apostles. And to convince them, even asks for something to eat. So the disciples offered him a piece of baked fish, and he took it and ate before them ".
"Thanks to these signs very realistic, the disciples overcome their initial doubt and open up to the gift of faith, and this faith allows them to understand the things written on Christ "in the law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms" (Luke 24.44 ). We read that Jesus "opened their minds to understand the Scriptures and said to them:" Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer, and rise from the dead on the third day. and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins...You are witnesses of these things"(Luke 24.45-48). The Saviour assures us of his real presence among us through the Word and the Eucharist. Therefore, just as the disciples of Emmaus recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread (cf. Lk 24:35), so we meet the Lord in the Eucharistic celebration. In this regard, St. Thomas Aquinas explains that " It is absolutely necessary to confess according to Catholic faith that the entire Christ is in this sacrament.... since the Godhead never set aside the assumed body," (S.Th. III q. 76, a. 1).
Finally the Pope, recalling that the Church at Easter time, usually administers First Communion to children, he urged "parish priests, parents and catechists to prepare this feast of good faith, with great fervor, but with sobriety." This day is to be memorable as the moment when ... you too understand the importance of a personal encounter with Jesus" (Post Synodal ap.exort. Sacramentum Caritatis, 19). May the Mother of God help us to listen attentively to the Word of the Lord and participate worthily in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, to become witnesses of the new humanity".
Concepts that Benedict XVI repeated the greetings in various languages, stressing in particular, in French and English, the hope that " our hearts and our minds may open to the understanding the Scriptures."