Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Pascal mystery “is not just a memorial to a past reality, it is a present reality: today, Christ’s love continues to defeat sin and death”. “Evil does not have the last word” and “the final triumph belongs to Christ”. Pope Benedict XVI re-proposed the “certainty” on which “our Christian existence is founded and built ” to a crowd of twenty thousand people present in St Peter’s square for his general audience, on the vigil of the Easter Tridium, during which we rediscover space for silence and time for reflection, both greatly needed in a world filled with inflated words.
The Pope says that today, Spy Wednesday, “introduces us to the dramatic atmosphere of the following days”. Benedict XVI outlined the Easter journey, starting from Mathew’s account of the “brief exchange between Jesus and Judas during our Lord’s last supper, following his words ‘one of you will betray me’”.
The Pope underscored that John closes the announcement of the betrayal with few words: “it was night: when the traitor leaves the supper an interior darkness settles”; “darkness of abandonment and of hate thickens”, drawing us closer to “the supreme encounter between light and dark, life and death”.
We too, must be aware of our responsibilities if we desire to truly live the Easter mystery.
Tomorrow, Holy Thursday sees the Mass of the Chrism which “may be considered the prelude to the Pascal Tridium”. During the solemn ceremony oils used for the celebration of the sacraments during the year are blessed and priestly vows are renewed: “the ceremony is permeated with a strong sense of ecclesial communion which highlights Christ’s gift of the priesthood, given on the eve of his death” and is “deeply moving for every priest who lives this day, as the memory of the institution of the priestly ministry touches each of our hearts”. That evening, the Christian community relives in “In coena Domini” our Lord’s last supper, when the Redeemer anticipates in the sacrament of bread and wine “his life’s sacrifice”. And in the washing of the feet this “act of unity, of love till death” is renewed.
Then follows the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, in which we relive Christ’s agony in the garden of Gethsemane when the disciples succumb to sleep, and “often today we too succumb to sleep leaving our Lord alone”.
Good Friday is “the day we participate in Our Lord’s passion”, in which “the faithful lift their voices in prayer to the Father for the needs of the Church and the entire world”. Good Friday also foresees the “pious exercise of the Way of the Cross”, which invites us to look upon the crucified Christ with the eyes of our heart” and “for the year that follows, calls on us to impress the mystery of the cross on our souls”.
Holy Saturday “is the day of the great silence”, the day in which “the liturgy is quietened” and Christians are invited to gather themselves in reflection. “In the world in which we live, of inflated words, we must rediscover silence and meditation”. This is how we prepare ourselves for the Easter Vigil, when the veil of sorrow is swept away by joy.