Pope calls on everyone to condemn terrorist acts in Sri Lanka, which are never justifiable
"All the Gospels highlight the role of women, Mary of Magdala and the others, as the first witnesses of the resurrection," said the Pope. "Let us allow ourselves, therefore, to reach out from the consoling message of Easter and wrap ourselves in its glorious light, which dissipates the darkness of fear and sadness. The Risen Jesus walks beside us. He manifests himself to those who invoke and love him."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis, after reciting the Regina Coeli in lieu of the Angelus in St Peter’s Square on Easter Monday, turned his thoughts to Sri Lanka and its people.
In his address, the pontiff called on everyone to "condemn the terrorist acts" in Sri Lanka, which are "never justifiable". He went on to express his "spiritual and paternal closeness to the dear people of Sri Lanka", calling on "everyone not to hesitate to bring help" to that country.
Previously, Francis had stressed the fundamental role women played during the Resurrection, for they were the first to meet the Risen One and to inform the apostles.
"Today, and throughout this week," said Francis, "the Paschal joy of the Resurrection of Jesus continues. We commemorated this wonderful event yesterday".
"On this Easter Monday, the liturgy, with the Gospel of Matthew (see 28.8-15), brings us back to the empty tomb of Jesus. The women, full of fear and joy, left in a hurry to bring the news to the disciples. At that moment, Jesus appeared to them. 'They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage' (Mt 28:9).
"Jesus cast fear from their hearts and encouraged them even more, to announce to the brothers what happened. All the Gospels highlight the role of women, Mary of Magdala and the others, as the first witnesses of the resurrection. The men, frightened, were closed in the Cenacle. Peter and John, warned by Magdalene, rushed to the tomb, which they found open and empty. But it is women who were the first to meet the Risen One and to bring the announcement that he was alive.
"Today, dear brothers and sisters, the words of Jesus addressed to women also resound for us: 'Do not be afraid. Go tell [. . .]' (Mt 28:10). After the rites of the Easter Triduum, which made us relive the mystery of death and resurrection of our Lord, now with the eyes of faith, we contemplate him risen and alive. We too are called to meet him personally and become his heralds and witnesses."
"With the ancient Paschal Sequence, we repeat at this time: 'Christ, my hope, is Risen!' And in Him we too are resurrected, passing from death to life, from the slavery of sin to the freedom of love. Let us allow ourselves, therefore, to reach out from the consoling message of Easter and wrap ourselves in its glorious light, which dissipates the darkness of fear and sadness. The Risen Jesus walks beside us.
"He manifests himself to those who invoke and love him. First of all in prayer, but also in the simple joys experienced with faith and gratitude. We can feel Him present as well by sharing moments of cordiality, hospitality, friendship, contemplation of nature. May this day of celebration, in which it is customary to enjoy a bit of leisure and spontaneity, help us experience the presence of Jesus. Let us ask the Virgin Mary to enable [us] to draw full peace and serenity, gifts of the Risen One, and share them with our fellow human beings, especially those who need comfort and hope the most."