On Easter evening, Pope Francis invites “never to lose hope”
“It is always possible to start over. “ This is the message of hope delivered by Pope Francis, Holy Saturday April 3, during the Easter vigil. In front of 150 faithful gathered in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Pope Francis meditated on what it means “The Easter invitation” for believers.
“You can always start over”, And this “Beyond all our failures”, explained François. “And in these dark months of pandemic, we hear the Risen Lord who invites us to start over, never to lose hope”, he continued in front of an entirely masked audience.
“Faith is not a repertoire of the past”
As since the start of Holy Week, attendance in the basilica was particularly reduced due to sanitary standards. The vigil time, 7:30 p.m., had also been brought forward due to the 10 p.m. curfew in force in Italy.
Easter is also the occasion, added the Pope, to “To travel new paths”, leaving aside what Francis called “The faith of memories”. Because Jesus, insisted Francis, is not “A character from the past, a childhood friend now far away, a fact that happened a long time ago” or a souvenir from catechism. “Faith is not a repertoire of the past” but offer to the one who kisses her “The astonishment of the first meeting” with Jesus.
Jesus “Walk with you every day, in the situation you are living, in the ordeal you are going through, in the dreams that you carry within you”, continued the Pope, using the familiar form when he wanted to address his listeners more directly, and inviting them not to ” to fear “ of “Surprises from God”. “Even if everything seems lost to you, open yourself with astonishment to its novelty: it will surprise you. “
The“Easter invitation” finally consists, continued the Pope, taking up the theme of the peripheries which is dear to him, to “Go to the borders” as Jesus did in his time. “Jesus began his mission from there, addressing the announcement to those who lead their daily lives with difficulty, to the excluded, to the fragile, to the poor”, he stressed.
“Overcome barriers, overcome prejudices”
In the assembly were about thirty cardinals of the Curia, but also two Orthodox leaders, Bishop Khajag Barsamian, who represented the Armenian Apostolic Church, as well as Bishop Barnaba El Soriani, for the Coptic-Orthodox Church.
François encouraged those who listened to him to invest in “The roads we travel every day” and “The corners of our cities”. He also invited them to “Overcome barriers, overcome prejudices, approach those who are next to each day”.
“We can find the Risen One in the face of the brothers, in the enthusiasm of the one who dreams and in the resignation of the discouraged one, in the smiles of the one who rejoices and in the tears of the one who suffers, especially in the poor and in one who is marginalized ”, stated François.
The final stage of these Easter celebrations, Pope Francis is to preside over the Mass of the Resurrection on Sunday April 4 at 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica. It will be followed by the Urbi et Orbi blessing, to the City and to the World.