Pope: let us be transformed by the Risen Jesus
General audience, Benedict XVI invites us to make the Easter season "an opportunity to discover the joy and enthusiasm of faith, the presence of the risen Christ among us. This so we can make the same journey as the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, by rediscovering the Word of God and the Eucharist. "

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Let us meet the risen Jesus, he is among us, he walks among us, have faith, faith in him transforms our lives, freeing it from fear, leading to hope. "The Master is risen and with him all life is resurrected, witnessing to this event becomes an irrepressible necessity." In light of the Passover, says Benedict XVI, the heart is "imbued with spiritual joy, even if the sky is gray," as indeed it is in St. Peter's Square, where there are the approximately 40 thousand people attending the general audience.

The Pope wants to "show the transformation that the Passover of Jesus had in his disciples. We start from the evening of the day of the Resurrection. The disciples are locked in the house for fear of the Jews. Fear grips their heart and prevents them from going out to others, to meet life. But "as he said 'I will not leave you orphans', and he also tells us this," Jesus "enters through locked doors and says peace be with you". "The peace that Jesus brings is the gift of salvation that he had promised in his farewell discourse. He gifts it in full and it becomes a source of joy for the community, certainty of victory, of being able to entrust themselves to God.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid, he also tells us".

He shows his wounds to the disciples, "his glorious humanity remains wounded". "This gesture is intended to confirm the new reality of the Resurrection: Christ, who is now among his own is a real person, the same Jesus that three days before was nailed to the Cross. And so, in the brilliant light of Easter, in the encounter with the Risen Christ, the disciples understand the salvific meaning of his suffering and death. Then, from sadness and fear they become filled with joy, the joy that comes from seeing the Lord. " Jesus says "Peace be with you: it is not just a greeting. It is a gift, the gift that the Risen Lord wants to give to his friends, and at the same time delivery: this peace, purchased by Christ with his blood, is for them for all, and the disciples must take it around the world. In fact, he adds: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." The Risen Jesus has returned to the disciples to send them out. He has completed his work in the world Now it is up to them to sow faith in the hearts of men. " But Jesus knows that there is still much fear in the disciples, always. So he breathes on them and regenerates them in his Spirit: This gesture is the sign of the new creation. With the gift of the Holy Spirit that comes from the Risen Christ a new world begins indeed. With the sending out of the disciples, the journey of the people of the new covenant in the world begins, a people who believe in Him and in His work of salvation, the people who witness the truth of the Resurrection. This newness of life that does not die, brought by Easter, must be spread everywhere, so that the thorns of sin that wound the heart of man may give way to sprouts of grace, of God's presence and his love victorious over sin and death. "

And "even now the Risen One comes into our homes and our hearts, though sometimes the doors are closed. He enters gifting joy and peace, life and hope, gifts we need for our human and spiritual rebirth. He alone can overturn those tombstones that mankind often places on feelings, on relationships, behavior; stones that mark death: divisions, hatred, resentment, envy, mistrust, and indifference. Only He, the Living One, can give meaning to existence and help the weary and sad, discouraged and hopeless to continue their journey". This was the experience of the two disciples on Easter Sunday who were on their way to Emmaus. "They speak of Jesus, but their sad faces express disappointment, uncertainty and gloom. They had left their country to follow Jesus with his friends, and had discovered a new reality, in which forgiveness and love were not just words, but actually touched lives. Jesus of Nazareth had made everything new again, he had transformed their lives. But now he was dead, and everything seemed over. "

Suddenly, Jesus joins the two disciples, but they do not recognize him. They heard rumors of the Resurrection and they speak of it, but are not convinced. Then Jesus, "with patience", explains everything in Scriptures concerning himself, "offering the fundamental key to understanding it, in short Himself and His Paschal Mystery: the Scriptures bear witness to Him." "Meanwhile they had reached the village, probably the home of one of the two." Jesus acts as if he were going farther, but then stopped because they asked him: "Stay with us." "We, too, we must always tell the Lord earnestly: 'Stay with us.'"

"When he was at table with them, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them": the gestures made by Jesus at the Last Supper opened the disciples' eyes. "The presence of Jesus, first with words, then with the gesture of breaking bread, allowed the disciples to recognize Him."

"This episode shows us two special places where we encounter the risen Christ who transforms our lives: listening to the Word, in communion with Christ, and the breaking of bread; two places profoundly connected, as the Word and Eucharist so intimately belong together one can not be understood without the other. "

After this meeting, the two disciples returned to Jerusalem to tell the 11 that "the Lord is truly Risen." "This revives in them the enthusiasm of faith, love for the community, the need to communicate the good news. The Master is Risen and with him all life is resurrected, witness to this event becomes an irrepressible need for them."

"The Easter season - concluded the Pope - is a good opportunity for everyone to discover the joy and enthusiasm of faith, the presence of the Risen Christ among us. This so we can make the same journey as the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, by rediscovering the Word of God and the Eucharist" "Let us meet the Risen Jesus! He, alive and true, is always present among us, walking with us to guide our lives, to open our eyes. We have faith in the Risen One who has the power to give life, let us be reborn as sons of God, able to believe and to love. Faith in Him transforms our lives: freeing it from fear, giving firm hope, animating it with what gives full meaning to life, the love of God ".

 

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