Saint Peter's Square
Easter Monday, 17 April 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On this festive Monday known as “Monday of the Angel”, the Liturgy resounds the announcement of the Resurrection proclaimed yesterday: “Christ is Risen, Hallelujah!”. In today’s Gospel passage, we can hear the echo of the words the Angel addressed to the women who had hastened to the sepulchre: “Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen” (Mt 28:7). We feel as if this invitation is also directed to us; to “hasten” and to “go” announce to the men and women of our times this message of joy and hope, of certain hope, because from the dawn of the third day, Jesus who was crucified, is raised. Death no longer has the last word. Life does! This is our certainty. The sepulchre does not have the last word; it is not death, it is life! This is why we repeat “Christ is Risen”, many times. Because in Him, the sepulchre was overcome. Life was born.In light of this event which constitutes the true and real news of history and the cosmos, we are called to be new men and women in accordance with the Spirit, confirming the value of life. There is life! This is already the beginning of rebirth! We will be men and women of resurrection, men
and women of life, if in the midst of the events that afflict the world — there are many of them today —, in the midst of worldliness which distances us from God, we will know how to offer gestures of solidarity and gestures of welcome, strengthening the universal desire for peace and the hope for an environment free from degradation. These are common and human signs, which if supported and kept alive by faith in the Risen Lord, acquire a power that is well beyond our abilities. And this is so because Christ is alive and working in history through his Holy Spirit: He redeems our shortcomings and reaches each human heart and gives back hope to whomever is oppressed and suffering.
May the Virgin Mary, silent witness of the death and Resurrection of her Son Jesus, help us to be clear signs of the Risen Christ amid the affairs of the world, so that those who suffer tribulation and difficulties do not fall victim to pessimism, defeat, and resignation, but find in us many brothers and sisters who offer them support and solace. May our Mother help us to believe firmly in the Resurrection of Jesus: Jesus is Risen; He is alive here among us and this is a worthy mystery of salvation with the ability to transform hearts and life. May She intercede especially for the persecuted and oppressed Christian communities which, in many parts of the world today, are called to a more difficult and courageous testimony.
And now in the light and joy of Easter, let us turn to Her with the prayer which will replace the Angelus for the next 50 days leading to Pentecost.
After the Regina Caeli:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the Easter atmosphere which marks this day, I warmly greet all of you, families, parish groups, associations and single pilgrims from Italy and from various parts of the world.
I wish that each of you may live in serenity these days of the Octave of Easter, which extends the joy of Christ’s Resurrection. Seize every good opportunity to be witnesses of the peace of the Risen Lord.
Happy and Holy Easter to all of you! Please do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch. Arrivederci!
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