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  • » 04/15/2017, 11.55

    VATICAN

    Pope: with the Resurrection Jesus breaks down walls and asks us to change humanity



    In the face of women who go to the tomb we see "the faces we can see reflected all those who, walking the streets of our cities, feel the pain of dire poverty, the sorrow born of exploitation and human trafficking. We can also see the faces of those who are greeted with contempt because they are immigrants". "Let us go back to proclaim, to share, to reveal that it is true: the Lord is alive! He is living and he wants to rise again in all those faces that have buried hope, buried dreams, buried dignity." 

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Resurrection of Christ "wants also to break down all the walls that keep us locked in our sterile pessimism, … in boundless ambition that can make us compromise the dignity of others", "the pain of dire poverty, the sorrow born of exploitation and human trafficking"," contempt because they are immigrants, deprived of country, house and family". But "the beating heart of the Risen Lord is given to us, and we are asked to give it in turn as a transforming force, as the leaven of a new humanity."

    The Easter Vigil, the night in which the Church recalls Jesus' victory over death, the triumph of good over evil. Pope Francis’ words reveal a hope despite the evils that still plague humanity,  in particular, praise for the fidelity of the women who followed Jesus on his way to the cross and the tomb, and who now run to spread the happy event: He is risen. As he had said.

    The rite begins with the blessing of fire and preparation of the Paschal candle, it includes the baptism of some catechumens:  11, almost all adults, and also from China - a young woman - Malaysia, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, United States of America, Albania, Malta.

    In his homily, Francis begins from the surprise of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary when they go to the tomb and find it empty. “Unlike the disciples, the women are present – just as they had been present as the Master breathed his last on the cross, and then, with Joseph of Arimathea, as he was laid in the tomb. Two women who did not run away, who remained steadfast, who faced life as it is and who knew the bitter taste of injustice. We see them there, before the tomb, filled with grief but equally incapable of accepting that things must always end this way.

    If we try to imagine this scene, we can see in the faces of those women any number of other faces: the faces of mothers and grandmothers, of children and young people who bear the grievous burden of injustice and brutality. In their faces we can see reflected all those who, walking the streets of our cities, feel the pain of dire poverty, the sorrow born of exploitation and human trafficking. We can also see the faces of those who are greeted with contempt because they are immigrants, deprived of country, house and family. We see faces whose eyes bespeak loneliness and abandonment, because their hands are creased with wrinkles. Their faces mirror the faces of women, mothers, who weep as they see the lives of their children crushed by massive corruption that strips them of their rights and shatters their dreams. By daily acts of selfishness that crucify and then bury people’s hopes. By paralyzing and barren bureaucracies that stand in the way of change. In their grief, those two women reflect the faces of all those who, walking the streets of our cities, behold human dignity crucified.

    The faces of those women mirror many other faces too, including perhaps yours and mine. Like them, we can feel driven to keep walking and not resign ourselves to the fact that things have to end this way. True, we carry within us a promise and the certainty of God’s faithfulness. But our faces also bear the mark of wounds, of so many acts of infidelity, our own and those of others, of efforts made and battles lost. In our hearts, we know that things can be different but, almost without noticing it, we can grow accustomed to living with the tomb, living with frustration. Worse, we can even convince ourselves that this is the law of life, and blunt our consciences with forms of escape that only serve to dampen the hope that God has entrusted to us. So often we walk as those women did, poised between the desire of God and bleak resignation. Not only does the Master die, but our hope dies with him”.

    The beating heart of the Risen Christ is what we have been given and what we are asked to give

    “And suddenly there was a great earthquake” (Mt 28:2). Unexpectedly, those women felt a powerful tremor, as something or someone made the earth shake beneath their feet. Once again, someone came to tell them: “Do not be afraid”, but now adding: “He has been raised as he said!” This is the message that, generation after generation, this Holy Night passes on to us: “Do not be afraid, brothers and sisters; he is risen as he said!” Life, which death destroyed on the cross, now reawakens and pulsates anew (cf. ROMANO GUARDINI, The Lord, Chicago, 1954, p. 473). The heartbeat of the Risen Lord is granted us as a gift, a present, a new horizon. The beating heart of the Risen Lord is given to us, and we are asked to give it in turn as a transforming force, as the leaven of a new humanity. In the resurrection, Christ rolled back the stone of the tomb, but he wants also to break down all the walls that keep us locked in our sterile pessimism, in our carefully constructed ivory towers that isolate us from life, in our compulsive need for security and in boundless ambition that can make us compromise the dignity of others.

    When the High Priest and the religious leaders, in collusion with the Romans, believed that they could calculate everything, that the final word had been spoken and that it was up to them to apply it, God suddenly breaks in, upsets all the rules and offers new possibilities. God once more comes to meet us, to create and consolidate a new age, the age of mercy. This is the promise present from the beginning. This is God’s surprise for his faithful people. Rejoice! Hidden within your life is a seed of resurrection, an offer of life ready to be awakened.

    That is what this night calls us to proclaim: the heartbeat of the Risen Lord. Christ is alive! That is what quickened the pace of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. That is what made them return in haste to tell the news (Mt 28:8). That is what made them lay aside their mournful gait and sad looks. They returned to the city to meet up with the others.

    Now that, like the two women, we have visited the tomb, I ask you to go back with them to the city. Let us all retrace our steps and change the look on our faces. Let us go back with them to tell the news In all those places where the grave seems to have the final word, where death seems the only way out. Let us go back to proclaim, to share, to reveal that it is true: the Lord is alive! He is living and he wants to rise again in all those faces that have buried hope, buried dreams, buried dignity. If we cannot let the Spirit lead us on this road, then we are not Christians.

    Let us go, then. Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by this new dawn and by the newness that Christ alone can give. May we allow his tenderness and his love to guide our steps. May we allow the beating of his heart to quicken our faintness of heart”.

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    See also

    27/03/2016 13:32:00 VATICAN
    Pope: hope can shed the “light of the Risen Lord on our problems” and defeat "darkness and fear"

    During Easter vigil, Francis said that Christians are called “to awaken and resurrect hope in hearts burdened by sadness, in those who struggle to find meaning in life”. The ambassador of South Korea to Italy, Yong-Joon Lee, and his wife Hee Kim are among the twelve who were baptised. Their counterparts to the Holy See act as godparents.



    31/03/2013 VATICAN
    Pope at Easter Vigil: let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives!
    Pope Francis invites us all to accept the " God’s surprises" and not be afraid. " Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness... and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive!." During the Great Vigil he administered the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and first communion four adult men from Italy, Albania, Russia and the United States.

    16/04/2017 15:07:00 VATICAN
    Pope’s Easter homily: With faith in the Risen Christ we have a sense among many calamities


    04/04/2015 VATICAN
    Pope: Easter Vigil, "listen to the silence" and hear "the tiny whisper in which God speaks to us"
    "You can not live without entering into the Easter mystery", without recognizing " creatures with strengths and weaknesses, sinners in need of forgiveness". "The men remained closed in the Upper Room. The women, however, at the dawn of the day after the Sabbath, they went to the tomb. " Remember those who lose their life for the faith, he asks in a prayer: "Strengthen the faith in persecuted Christians" and "convert the hearts of the sowers of hatred."

    20/04/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: The Resurrection, an invitation to rediscover our baptism and become witnesses to Christ
    At the Easter Vigil Francis speaks of the "return to Galilee, the place where they were first called" where Jesus spoke to the apostles, drawing new energy from the sources of our faith". "It is not to go back in time; it is not a kind of nostalgia. It is returning to our first love, in order to receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the earth".



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