Lunedì dell'Angelo, 2 aprile 2018
The Monday after Easter is called "Monday of the Angel", according to a very beautiful tradition that corresponds to the biblical sources on the Resurrection. In fact, the Gospels narrate (cf. Mt 28: 1-10, Mk 16: 1-7, Lk 24: 1-12) that when the women went to the Sepulcher they found it open. They feared they could not enter because the tomb had been closed with a large stone. Instead it was open; and from within a voice tells them that Jesus is not there, but has risen.
For the first time the words are pronounced: "He is risen". The evangelists tell us that this first announcement was given by angels, that is, messengers of God. There is a meaning in this angelic presence: how to announce the Incarnation of the Word was an angel, Gabriel, so also to announce for the first time the Resurrection was not enough a human word. It took a superior being to communicate a reality so shocking, so incredible, that perhaps no man would dare to pronounce it. After this first announcement, the community of disciples begins to repeat: "The Lord has truly risen. and he appeared to Simon "(Lk 24,34). This announcement is nice. We can all say it together now: "The Lord has truly risen". This first announcement - "The Lord has truly risen" - required an intelligence superior to the human one.
Today is a day of celebration and conviviality usually lived with the family. It's a family day. After having celebrated Easter we feel the need to gather again with our loved ones and with friends to party. Because fraternity is the fruit of the Passover of Christ who, through his death and resurrection, defeated the sin that separated man from God, man from himself, man from his brothers. But we know that sin always separates, always makes enmities. Jesus has broken down the wall of division between men and has restored peace, beginning to weave the web of a new fraternity. It is so important in our time to rediscover fraternity, just as it was lived in the early Christian communities. Rediscover how to give space to Jesus who never separates, always unites. There can not be a true communion and a commitment to the common good and social justice without fraternity and sharing. Without fraternal sharing, an ecclesial or civil community can not be created: there is only a group of individuals who are moved or grouped by their own interests. But fraternity is a grace that Jesus does.
The Easter of Christ blew up something else in the world: the novelty of dialogue and of the relationship, something new that has become a responsibility for Christians. In fact, Jesus said: "From this everyone will know that you are my disciples: if you have love for one another" (Jn 13:35). This is why we can not confine ourselves in our private, in our group, but we are called to take care of the common good, to take care of our brothers, especially the weakest and most marginalized. Only fraternity can guarantee lasting peace, can defeat poverty, can extinguish tensions and wars, can eradicate corruption and crime. The angel who tells us: "He has risen", helps us to live the fraternity and the novelty of dialogue and of the relationship and the concern for the common good.
May the Virgin Mary, who we invoke with the title of Queen of Heaven at this Easter time, support us with her prayer, so that the fraternity and communion we experience in these Easter days can become our style of life and the soul of our relationships. .
After the Regina Coeli:
Dear brothers and sisters,
in the Easter atmosphere that characterizes today's day, I cordially greet all of you, families, parish groups, associations and individual pilgrims, who have come from Italy and from various parts of the world.
I wish each of you to spend these days of the Easter Octave in serenity, in which the joy of the Resurrection of Christ is prolonged. Take every opportunity to witness the peace of the risen Lord especially in regard to the most fragile and disadvantaged. In this regard, I wish to secure a special prayer for the World Day of Awareness of Autism, which is being celebrated today.
We invoke the gift of peace for the whole world, especially for the populations that suffer most from the ongoing conflicts. In particular, I renew my call for those kidnapped or unjustly deprived of liberty to be released and to return to their homes.
Happy Easter Monday! Please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye and: "Truly the Lord has risen".