Tomorrow the Easter Triduum which proposes the great events of salvation operated by Christ begins. "The justification of Jesus saves us from corruption", but "there are fake Christians, they say I am justified by Jesus, but I live a corrupt life and they will end badly. We are all sinners, but the corrupt Christian has death in their soul. We don’t have to go far, just think about the Christians who are in the Mafia ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - With the death and resurrection of Jesus we are "justified": saved from corruption. "One can no longer live with death in the soul, nor can it be a cause of death". But "there are fake Christians, they say: I am justified by Jesus, but I live a corrupt life. And these will end badly ". " We don’t have to go far, just think about the Christians who are in the Mafia ". This was the warning launched by Pope Francis today as he dedicated the catechesis for the general audience to the Easter Triduum, which begins tomorrow. This time "marks the fundamental stages of our faith and our vocation in the world" and ends with "an announcement of joy and hope, but also an appeal to responsibility and mission ".
Speaking to the 15 thousand people present in Saint Peter's Square, the Pope recalled that tomorrow "the most important days of the liturgical year" will begin. He then asked, "what celebration is more important for our faith?". And to the response of those present: "Easter", he added "but do you know that I was convinced that it was Christmas until the age of 15?".
"These days - he resumed - constitute the commemorative memory of one great mystery: the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The Triduum begins tomorrow, with the Mass 'in Coena Domini', and will end with the vespers on Sunday of the Resurrection. Then comes Easter Monday, but it is familial, it is post-liturgical. It marks the fundamental stages of our faith and our vocation in the world, and all Christians are called to live the three holy days as, so to speak, the 'matrix' of their personal and communal life, as the exodus from Egypt is for our Jewish brothers. These three days propose once more to the Christian people the great events of salvation operated by Christ, and so they project him into the horizon of his future destiny and strengthen him in his commitment to witness in history ".
"On Easter morning, retracing the steps experienced in the Triduum, the song of the Sequence will solemnly hear the announcement of the resurrection. And he thus says: "Christ, our hope, has risen and precedes us in Galilee". And in so many peoples, especially in Eastern Europe, many people say 'good morning', but 'Christ has risen'. In these words of emotional exultation culminates the Triduum. They contain not only an announcement of joy and hope, but also an appeal to responsibility and mission ".
"This announcement, to which the Triduum leads by preparing us to welcome it, is the center of our faith and of our hope, it is the core, the kerygma that continually evangelizes the Church and that it in turn is sent to evangelize. St. Paul summarizes the paschal event in this expression: "Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed" (1 Cor 5,7). Like the lamb. Therefore "old things have passed away and new things have been born" (2 Cor 5:15). Reborn. This is why the people were baptized on Easter Sunday. And on Saturday I will baptize eight adult people ".
"Through our Baptism, in fact, we have risen with Jesus and we are dead to the things and to the logic of the world; we are reborn as new creatures: a reality that asks to become concrete existence day by day. A Christian, if he really lets himself be washed by Christ, if he really lets himself be stripped of him by the old man to walk in a new life, even if he remains a sinner, because we all are, he cannot be corrupted anymore. The justification of Jesus saves us from corruption. We are sinners, but not corrupt, the Christian cannot live carrying death in his soul, nor even be a cause of death. Now I have to say something sad and painful: there are fake Christians, those who say 'Jesus is risen, I was justified by Jesus, I am in new life', but ... I live a corrupt life. And these fake Christians will end badly. The Christian, I repeat, is a sinner, we all are, I am, but we have the certainty that when we ask forgiveness, the Lord forgives us. The corrupt pretends to be an honourable person but in the end there is decay in his heart. Jesus gives us a new life. The Christian cannot live with death in his heart or cause death. We think of home, we think of the so-called Mafia Christians: but these Christians do not have anything, they say they are Christians but they carry death in their soul and to the others. We pray for them, that the Lord touches their soul ".
"A Christian, if he really lets himself be washed by Christ, if he really lets himself be stripped of him by the old man to walk in a new life, even if he remains a sinner, he cannot be corrupted anymore; he can no longer live with death in the soul, nor can he be the cause of death. The neighbor, especially the weakest and most in need, becomes the concrete face to whom we can give the love that Jesus has given to us. And the world becomes the space of our new life to be resurrected. Standing, and with the our heads held high, we can share the humiliation of those who even today, like Jesus, are suffering, are naked, are in need, are lonely, are dying, to become, thanks to Him and with Him, instruments of redemption and hope, signs of life and resurrection ". "In many countries here in Italy and even in my homeland there is the tradition that when they hear the Easter bells, mothers and grandmothers take children to wash their eyes with water, the water of life , as a sign of being able to see the things of Jesus, new things ".
"As you leave these thoughts, I offer you all the best wishes of a happy and holy Easter, together with your communities and loved ones. And I advise you: on Easter morning, bring the children to the well and have their eyes washed, it will be a sign of how to see the Risen Jesus ".