‘Easter sustains hope, turning it into concrete gestures of charity’ Pope Francis
At the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday, Pope Francis said the announcement of Christ’s resurrection was the greatest message in history, one that broke the silence of his death and gave us hope in the dark. Amidst the silence and numbness of his disciples, both then and now Christ has risen, and this is the message that sustains hope, turning it into concrete gestures of charity.
“How greatly we need to let our frailty be anointed by this experience!” Pope Francis said during the homily.
“How greatly we need to let our faith be revived! How greatly we need our myopic horizons to be challenged and renewed by this message! Christ is risen, and with him he makes our hope and creativity rise, so that we can face our present problems in the knowledge that we are not alone,” the Pope said.
The hours following Christ’s passion “are the hours when the disciple stands speechless in pain at the death of Jesus. What words can be spoken at such a moment?”
To celebrate Easter, Francis said in his homily, “is to believe once more that God constantly breaks into our personal histories, challenging our ‘conventions,’ those fixed ways of thinking and acting that end up paralyzing us.”
“To celebrate Easter is to allow Jesus to triumph over the craven fear that so often assails us and tries to bury every kind of hope,” he continued.
Before the injustice that condemned Jesus, Francis said, his disciples were silent, numb and paralyzed, not knowing what to do “amid so many painful and disheartening situations.”
Later in his homily, he said that today too, those who follow Jesus often remain speechless in the “face of situations we cannot control, that make us feel and, even worse, believe that nothing can be done to reverse all the injustices that our brothers and sisters are experiencing in their flesh.”
Throughout his remarks, Francis often alternated between the third and the second person, drawing a parallel between those depicted in the Gospel as followers of Christ with those who today too follow- and hide, escape, keep silent- before the “calumnies and the false testimony that the Master endured.”
On Holy Friday, day of the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ, “we joined the women in contemplating ‘the one who was pierced’,” Francis said. “Today, with them, we are invited to contemplate the empty tomb and to hear the words of the angel: ‘Do not be afraid… for he has been raised.’”
Those words, the pontiff said on Saturday, should affect our convictions and certainties, and the way we deal with the events of our day-to-day, especially in the way we treat others.