“Here is the first Easter announcement that I would like to deliver to you: it is possible to always start over, because there is a new life that God is capable of restarting in us beyond all our failures. Even from the rubble of our heart, God can build a work of art, even from the ruinous fragments of our humanity God prepares a new history “. During the Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica, the most solemn liturgy of the year celebrated however still with the limitations and restrictions of the anti-Covid rules, Pope Francis launches a strong message of rebirth. “And in these dark months of pandemic we hear the Risen Lord who invites us to start again, never to lose hope”, adds the Pontiff. Officiated at the Altar of the Chair, in front of a small assembly of faithful, and brought forward at 7.30 pm to allow participants to respect the ‘curfew’, the ceremony celebrating the Resurrection of Christ omits the preparation of the Easter candle this year, while baptisms take place but only the renewal of the baptismal promises, preceded by the blessing of the lustral water. Jesus “always precedes us – Francis explains in his homily -: in the cross of suffering, desolation and death, as well as in the glory of a life that is reborn, of a history that changes, of a hope that is reborn”. Therefore, further clarifying the Gospel meaning of “going to Galilee”, where “the Risen Lord precedes us”, the Pope affirms that in addition to the meaning of “starting over” there is also that of “following new paths”. “Here is the second Easter proclamation – he continues -: faith is not a repertoire of the past, Jesus is not an outdated character. He is alive, here and now. He walks with you every day, in the situation you are experiencing, in the proof that you are going through, in the dreams you carry inside “. “It opens up new paths where it seems to you that there are none, it pushes you to go against the tide of regret and the ‘already seen’ – underlines Bergoglio -. Even if everything seems lost, open up with amazement to its novelty: it will surprise you”. For the Pontiff, “many live the ‘faith of memories’, as if Jesus were a personage of the past, a friend of his youth now far away, a fact that happened a long time ago, when I attended catechism as a child. A faith made of habits, of things from the past, of good childhood memories, which no longer touches me, no longer questions me “. “Going to Galilee”, on the other hand, “means learning that faith, to be alive, must get back on the road”. Third meaning, moreover, that of “going to the borders”. In Galilee, the Pope reflects, “we learn that we can find the Risen One in the faces of our brothers, in the enthusiasm of those who dream and in the resignation of those who are discouraged, in the smiles of those who rejoice and in the tears of those who suffer, especially in the poor and in who is marginalized “. “We will be amazed at how God’s greatness is revealed in littleness, how his beauty shines in the simple and the poor”, he observes. This is how “the third Easter proclamation”, Francis continues: “Jesus, the Risen One, loves us without borders and visits all our life situations. He has planted his presence in the heart of the world and invites us too to overcome barriers , overcoming prejudices, approaching those around us every day, to rediscover the grace of everyday life “. “Let us recognize him present in our Galilee, in everyday life – he concludes -. With him, life will change. Because beyond all defeats, evil and violence, beyond all suffering and death, the Risen One lives and leads the history”. Not only that: “and, with him, life always begins again”. The Easter cycle of celebrations presided over by the Pope closes tomorrow with the morning mass in St. Peter’s and, at the end, the ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing.
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