Pope Francis

23. Apr, 2022
23. Apr, 2022

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2022

“Let us cling to the certainty that God can forgive every sin. He forgives everyone. He can bridge every distance, and turn all mourning into dancing. The certainty that with Jesus there is always a place for everyone. That with Christ things are never over. That with him, it is never too late. With God, we can always come back to life. Take courage!... For Christ constantly intercedes for us before the Father. Gazing upon our violent and tormented world, he never tires of repeating: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Let us now do the same, in silence, in our hearts, and repeat: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Pope Francis

 

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

Psalm 105

Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.

Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
            make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
            proclaim all his wondrous deeds.

Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.

Glory in his holy name;
            rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
            seek to serve him constantly.

Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.

You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
            sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
            throughout the earth his judgments prevail.

Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.

He remembers forever his covenant
            which he made binding for a thousand generations--
Which he entered into with Abraham
            and by his oath to Isaac.

Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.

Jesus, the Crucified One, is risen! He stands in the midst of those who mourned him, locked behind closed doors and full of fear and anguish. He comes among them and says: “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19). He shows the wounds in his hands and feet, and the wound in his side. He is no ghost; it is truly Jesus, the same Jesus who died on the cross and was laid in the tomb. Before the incredulous eyes of the disciples, he repeats: “Peace be with you!” (v. 21).

Our eyes, too, are incredulous on this Easter of war. We have seen all too much blood, all too much violence. Our hearts, too, have been filled with fear and anguish, as so many of our brothers and sisters have had to lock themselves away in order to be safe from bombing. We struggle to believe that Jesus is truly risen, that he has truly triumphed over death. Could it be an illusion? A figment of our imagination?

No, it is not an illusion! Today, more than ever, we hear echoing the Easter proclamation so dear to the Christian East: “Christ is risen! He is truly risen!” Today, more than ever, we need him, at the end of a Lent that has seemed endless. We emerged from two years of pandemic, which took a heavy toll. It was time to come out of the tunnel together, hand in hand, pooling our strengths and resources... Instead, we are showing that we do not still have within us the spirit of Jesus, we have within us the spirit of Cain, who saw Abel not as a brother, but as a rival, and thought about how to eliminate him. We need the crucified and risen Lord so that we can believe in the victory of love, and hope for reconciliation. Today, more than ever, we need him to stand in our midst and repeat to us: “Peace be with you!”

As we contemplate those glorious wounds, our incredulous eyes open wide; our hardened hearts break open and we welcome the Easter message: “Peace be with you!”

Brothers and sisters, let us allow the peace of Christ to enter our lives, our homes, our countries!

 

“When we resort to violence, we show that we no longer know anything about God, who is our Father, or even about others, who are our brothers and sisters. We lose sight of why we are in the world and even end up committing senseless acts of cruelty. We see this in the folly of war, where Christ is crucified yet another time. Christ is once more nailed to the Cross in mothers who mourn the unjust death of husbands and sons. He is crucified in refugees who flee from bombs with children in their arms. He is crucified in the elderly left alone to die; in young people deprived of a future; in soldiers sent to kill their brothers and sisters. Christ is being crucified there, today.”

Pope Francis