RADIO VATICANA REPORT/IMAGE: Our ability to recognize the Risen Lord through His Word and in the Eucharist was the focus of Pope Benedict XVI’s Regina Caeli reflections this third Sunday of Easter. Speaking in French he said in the same way the Risen Jesus appeared among the apostles, still today "the Savior assures us of his real presence among us through the Word and the Eucharist" and just as "He gave peace "to the disciples, "He is still gifting us His peace and opens up life to happiness and invites us to become His witnesses to the ends of the earth, in our world marked by evil and suffering, pain and fear”.
St Peter’s Square, below the
Pope’s study window was packed, mainly with young children from parishes across
the diocese of Rome, who are preparing for their First Communion. They had
gathered beneath his balcony early Sunday morning, animating the build up to the
midday appointment with the Holy Father with song, adding splashes of color to
square with bunches of balloons. And they were not disappointed. Speaking to
them directly before the recitation of the Regina Caeli, which replaces the
Angelus during the period between Easter and Pentecost, Pope Benedict urged
"parish priests, parents and catechists to prepare this feast of faith, with
great fervor, but with sobriety." This day is to be memorable as the moment when
... you too understand the importance of a personal encounter with
Referring to the Sunday Gospel, Luke chapter 24, Pope Benedict
said “the Saviour assures us of his real presence among us through the Word and
the Eucharist. Therefore, just as the disciples of Emmaus recognized Jesus in
the breaking of the bread (cf. Lk 24:35), so we meet the Lord in the Eucharistic
celebration”. Quoting St. Thomas Aquinas he said " It is absolutely necessary to
confess according to Catholic faith that the entire Christ is in this
sacrament.... since the Godhead never set aside the assumed body".
the Pope prayed that the Mother of God help us to listen attentively to the Word
of the Lord and participate worthily in the Eucharistic Sacrifice,” to become
witnesses of the new humanity”.
Below a Vatican Radio translation
of Pope Benedict XVI’s Regina Caeli reflections on the third Sunday of
Dear brothers and sisters!
Today, the third Sunday
of Easter, in the Gospel according to Luke, we meet the risen Jesus who comes in
the midst of the disciples (cf. Lk 24.36), who were incredulous and frightened,
thinking they saw a ghost (cf. Lk 24, 37). Romano Guardini writes: "The Lord has
changed. He does not live as before. His existence ... it is not understandable.
Yet it is corporal, including ... his whole life experience, his lived destiny,
his passion and his death. Everything is real. Albeit changed, but always
tangible reality "(The Lord. Meditations on the person and the life of Our Lord
Jesus Christ, Milan 1949, 433). Since the resurrection has not erased the marks
of crucifixion, Jesus shows his hands and feet to the Apostles. And to convince
them, he even asking for something to eat. So the disciples' offered him a piece
of baked fish, and he took it and ate it before them "(Luke 24.42-43). St.
Gregory the Great says that "the fish grilled over a fire does not mean anything
other than the passion of Jesus Mediator between God and men. In fact, he
deigned to hide in the waters of the human race, agreed to be caught in the
snare of our death and was as if he were set on fire for the pain suffered at
the time of His Passion "(Hom. in Evang. XXIV, 5: CCL 141 , Turnhout 1999,
Thanks to these signs very realistic, the disciples overcome their
initial doubt and open up to the gift of faith, and this faith allows them to
understand the things written on Christ "in the law of Moses, the Prophets and
the Psalms" (Luke 24.44 ). We read that Jesus "opened their minds to understand
the Scriptures and said to them:" Thus it is written that the Christ would
suffer, and rise from the dead on the third day. and that repentance, for the
forgiveness of sins…You are witnesses of these things"(Luke 24.45-48). The
Saviour assures us of his real presence among us through the Word and the
Eucharist. Therefore, just as the disciples of Emmaus recognized Jesus in the
breaking of the bread (cf. Lk 24:35), so we meet the Lord in the Eucharistic
celebration. In this regard, St. Thomas Aquinas explains that " It is absolutely
necessary to confess according to Catholic faith that the entire Christ is in
this sacrament.... since the Godhead never set aside the assumed body," (S.Th.
III q. 76, a. 1).
Dear friends, the Church at Easter time, usually
administers First Communion to children. I therefore urge the pastors, parents
and catechists to prepare this feast of faith well, with great fervor, but also
with simplicity. "This day is to be memorable as the moment when ... you too
understand the importance of a personal encounter with Jesus" (Post Synodal
ap.exort. Sacramentum Caritatis, 19). May the Mother of God help us to listen
attentively to the Word of the Lord and participate worthily in the Eucharistic
Sacrifice, to become witnesses of the new humanity.
I am pleased to greet all
the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims present for this Easter prayer to Our
Lady. In today’s Gospel, the risen Lord opens the minds of the disciples to the
meaning of his suffering and death, and sends them out to preach repentance.
With courage and joy, may we too be authentic witnesses to Christ. God bless all
of you! http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=581974