04/12/2006, 00.00
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Pope: Easter reveals "evil does not have the last word; the risen Christ triumphs".

The Holy Week prompts Catholics to commit themselves to creating a more just world. Benedict XVI exhorted all to "reconcile" with God.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In a world "incapable of reconciling with itself" and where, therefore, "divisions, tragedies of injustice, hate and violence continue", the Holy Week revives the will to commitment "to create a more just world with more courage", because "evil does not have the last word, the risen Christ triumphs". The meaning of the Easter Triduum and a strong invitation to Catholics to make the most of these days and to practice confession, were the thrust of the reflections of Benedict XVI today. He was addressing around 40,000 people from all around the world who took part in the general audience. Participation was boosted by the beautiful Roman spring weather. The pope crossed the square in an open car, passing among the groups of people. Apart from Italian pilgrims, the largest contingents came from Germany, with several Bavarian flags, from Austria, from Spain and from the United States.

"Despite all the darkness in the world, evil does not have the last word," said Benedict XVI, frequently changing his prepared text off the cuff. "For our part, let's commit ourselves to create a more just world with more courage." The pope then invited the faithful to participate in celebrations of the Triduum starting tomorrow. "These days are intended to re-ignite in us an urgent desire to follow and to serve Christ, mindful of the fact that he loved us to the point of giving up his life for us."

"The Easter Triduum starts tomorrow with the Vespers mass In coena Domini, although the Chrism Mass will be held in the morning, when all the members of the presbytery renew their priestly vows and participate in the blessing of the oils". In the afternoon, the traditional "touching gesture of the washing of the feet" is carried out. Good Friday is the "day of fasting and repentance, in which we must turn our gaze on the pierced heart of Jesus. The cross reveals the extent, the length, height, and depth of a love that surpasses all knowledge, filling it to the brim with the fullness of God's love. The cross of Christ is the source of all blessings." Saturday is the time of the vigil, when "united with Mary, the Church stays in prayer by the Sepulchre. Late into the night, the solemn Easter vigil starts, and the joyful singing of the Easter Alleluia will come forth from the hearts of those newly baptized and the rest of the Christian community, happy because Christ is risen and has triumphed over death." In this regard, the Pope called attention to the Gospel passage in which Jesus invites his disciples to "keep watch". "We too, like his disciples, often sleep and do not keep watch".

He added: "For a profitable celebration of Easter – finally – the Church urges the faithful to approach the sacrament of penance. Preparing for Easter with a good confession, offers us the possibility to start our life over again. Aware that we are sinners, but confident of divine mercy, let us allow ourselves to be reconciled by Christ."

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