Posts Tagged ‘Redemption’

God Is With Us

In 07 Observations on 2016/05/01 at 12:00 AM

Do you realize that there is someone who loves you so much that He was willing to die for you? Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, who by taking on a human nature, He, the only-begotten Son of God, entered our human condition in order to redeem it. Jesus was not pretending to be God; He is God. To rectify our fallen nature, He endured Gethsemane and Golgotha so that we could understand His love for us, and, that as He rose from the dead, so we can rise with Him.In His Incarnation, Life, Passion and Resurrection, Jesus Christ was love giving Himself to us for us and accepting us for Himself because He first loved us. Commit yourself to Him in gratitude. Seek to imitate Him. He models every virtue for you. Turn your mind, heart, will, and soul over to Him, asking Him to lead you with His promised grace.

In joy as in sorrow, God is always there for us. As we focus on Our Lord, His Incarnation, Life, Passion, Death and Resurrection, we identify with Him upon whom we gaze. Christ gave Himself to man completely. He began to do so not only with His Incarnation and life, but specifically with His passion and death.Whenever you believe you are being sorely tried, look at the face of the suffering Christ and He will give you the grace to cope, the courage to hang on and to endure your ordeal.Look at the Crucified for mercy, salvation, understanding and hope. Christ Crucified loves you and you are looking at the proof. The sufferings Christ endured on the Cross for us provide us with an understanding that by uniting our sufferings to His, we can grow spiritually. Look to Him who is calling you to follow Him.

We sometimes wonder why God sent His Son to die. Jesus took on our human nature so that we could regain the lost divine image. Jesus gave us so much out of love, yet He asks only that we return His love by doing the will of His/our Father. This we can do by bearing our trials and tribulations as well as by loving our neighbor for His sake. In taking upon Himself our human nature, Jesus Christ experienced every possible trial man undergoes. The sinless one, having endured our trials, sympathizes with our struggles, knowing our weaknesses. After having paid our debt, and while no longer on earth, He is in heaven where He mercifully intercede for us.

The irrevocable act of love is the Cross of Christ. Sinless, He willingly died for sinners. He died for us, and we are in His debt.It was on the Cross that Christ sacrificed Himself that you might live in Him.The life you live as a Christian must be a life of faith in the Son of God who loves you as no one else can. Be grateful for His gift of perfect love and demonstrate it by seeking Him with all you heart and living as He wishes you to live.

One of the greatest gifts you can offer God is self-donation. Whatever sacrifices self-donation requires will be compensated by the reality of knowing that what is most important to you is serving God.Self-d0nation to God can be done by anyone, anytime, anywhere in every walk of life. The essence of self-donation is trust in God. We self-donate when we decide to act in a Christlike way by changing our life to conform to His values and teachings.

We long to see God’s face. Look at the Crucified for He and the Father are one.Look at Him with the eyes of your heart and see yourself in them as the apple of His eye. Recognize His love for you and how He has created you in His image and endowed you with the dignity of a human person whom He has adopted as His own at cost of His only begotten Son.Uniting our sufferings with His redemptive ordeal, gives meaning and purpose to our trials. It is God who permits such events in our lives for the sole purpose that we might seek Him with love and become the persons we should be.


“We have to toil away each day with Jesus”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/04/15 at 12:00 AM


How happy when they die must be those who have lived heroically every minute of their life! I can assure you it is so, because I have seen the joy of those who have prepared themselves for many years, with calm impatience, for this encounter. (Furrow, 893)

Our Lord has given us as a present our very lives, our senses, our faculties, and countless graces. We have no right to forget that each of us is a worker, one among many, on this plantation where He has placed us to cooperate in the task of providing food for others. This is our place, here within the boundaries of this plantation. Here is where we have to toil away each day with Jesus, helping him in his work of redemption.

Allow me to insist. You think your time is for yourself? Your time is for God! It may well be that, by God’s mercy, such selfish thoughts have never entered into your mind. I’m telling you these things in case you ever find your heart wavering in its faith in Christ. Should that happen, I ask you — God asks you — to be true to your commitments, to conquer your pride, to control your imagination, not to be superficial and run away, not to desert. (Friends of God, 49)

[1] cf Col 1:24

“Our Lord wants us to be both very human and very divine”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/05/29 at 12:00 AM
Many years ago now, I saw most clearly a truth which will always be valid: the whole web of society needs to live anew and spread the eternal truths of the Gospel, since it has departed from Christian faith and morals. Children of God at the very heart of that society, of the world, have to let their virtues shine out like lamps in the darkness — quasi lucernae lucentes in caliginoso loco. (Furrow, 318)

If we accept the responsibility of being children of God, we will realize that God wants us to be very human. Our heads should indeed be touching heaven, but our feet should be firmly on the ground. The price of living as Christians is not that of ceasing to be human or of abandoning the effort to acquire those virtues which some have even without knowing Christ. The price paid for each Christian is the redeeming Blood of Our Lord and he, I insist, wants us to be both very human and very divine, struggling each day to imitate him who is perfectus Deus, perfectus homo.

I don’t know if I could say which is the most important human virtue. It depends on the point of view from which they are considered. In any case, this question doesn’t really get us anywhere, for it is not a matter of practicing one or even a number of virtues. We have to try to acquire and to practice all of them. Each individual virtue is interwoven with the others and, thus, our effort to be sincere will also make us upright, cheerful, prudent and composed.

At the same time, we must bear in mind that decision making and responsibility derive from the personal freedom of each individual. Virtues are therefore also radically personal, they pertain to the person. Nevertheless, in this great battle of love no one fights alone. None of us, I like to say, is a floating line of verse. In some way we are always either helping or hindering each other. We are all links in the same chain. Join with me now in asking Our Lord to grant that this chain may anchor us to his Heart until that day comes when we shall contemplate him face to face for ever in Heaven. (Friends of God, 75-76)

“You will be able to support one another”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/02/27 at 12:00 AM
When you love other people and you spread that affection – Christ’s kindly, gentle charity – all around you, you will be able to support one another, and if someone is about to stumble he will feel that is being supported, and also encouraged, to be faithful to God through this fraternal strength. (The Forge, 148)

When the fullness of time comes, no philosophical genius, no Plato or Socrates appears to fulfill the mission of redemption. Nor does a powerful conqueror, another Alexander, take over the earth. Instead a child is born in Bethlehem. He it is who is to redeem the world. But before he speaks he loves with deeds. It is no magic formula he brings, because he knows that the salvation he offers must pass through human hearts. What does he first do? He laughs and cries and sleeps defenseless, as a baby, though he is God incarnate. And he does this so that we may fall in love with him, so that we may learn to take him in our arms.

We realize once again that this is what Christianity is all about. If a Christian does not love with deeds, he has failed as a Christian, besides failing as a person. You cannot think of others as if they were digits, or rungs on a ladder on which you can rise, or a multitude to be harangued or humiliated, praised or despised, according to circumstances. Be mindful of what others are — and first of all those who are at your side: children of God, with all the dignity that marvelous title entails.

We have to behave as God’s children toward all God’s sons and daughters. Our love has to be a dedicated love, practiced every day and made up of a thousand little details of understanding, hidden sacrifice and unnoticed self‑giving. This is the “aroma of Christ” that made those who lived among our first brothers in the faith exclaim: See how they love one another! (Christ is passing by, 36)

Christmas Mass

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2014/12/25 at 12:00 AM

 France has long been called the “Eldest Daughter of the Church,” mostly because of the deep way our Christian faith took root in that country in the earliest centuries of our Church history.
 The faith came to life in France like in no other country, which can be seen in the fact that so many of our greatest saints and so many of our most beautiful Catholic churches and works of art are to be found within her borders.
 Considering the historical greatness of the Catholic faith in France, it really should come as no surprise that the downfall of the Catholic faith in France was so heinous and horrifying.
 St. Peter tells us that satan prowls the world like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, and what greater prey could he have had than a country like France was 250 years ago?
 In a Reign of Terror that made our revolution here in America look like a tea party, the French Revolution of the late 18th century sought to strike a blow to the faith in France by a wholesale assault on the Catholic Church.
 Indeed, the French Revolution was not only an assault on the Church, but an assault on God Himself. To the revolutionaries nothing was considered sacred.
 Indeed, hundreds of priests and nuns were sent to the guillotine, and as if there were not enough, many of the Church’s goods and treasures were confiscated, and countless church buildings and works of art were destroyed.
 This is because the revolutionaries knew that to root out the faith and to limit the Church’s influence, they had to destroy not only the living embodiments of our Faith – the priests and religious – but also the images and icons that testify to what we believe.
 Like the iconoclasts of old who thought it heretical to have manmade images of our Blessed Lord and the saints, the French revolutionaries sought to destroy the Church’s ability to evangelize humanity by destroying her art and architecture.
 Now, over 200 years later, we can see that while the Catholic faith has not been completely extinguished in France, the revolutionaries certainly succeeded in maiming the Catholic faith of the Church’s eldest daughter.
 They were successful in part because of their destruction of our art and architecture. You see, my brothers and sisters, our faith is incarnational by its very nature!
 Our beautiful works of art are not simply decorations to enhance the aesthetics of a church building. Our architecture is not meant to be simply a method of providing a place for us to worship.
 Beautiful art and architecture that is truly sacred makes the invisible, visible. Sacred art and architecture serve to remind us not only of the particular mysteries of our faith, but that God Himself is something that we can perceive with our senses.
 And that is precisely what we celebrate every year with this joyful feast of Christmas: that God is not an abstraction or some grand figment of the collective imagination of mankind. God is real!
 Knowing that man often tends to be feckless and fickle in the weaknesses of human nature, our blessed Lord knew that He to be something that man could see and touch and hear in order to get man’s attention and save man from his sins.
 And so in act of love beyond all telling, an act of infinite self‐giving, our Lord Jesus Christ became man. At the assent of a teenage virgin in the city of Nazareth 2000 years ago, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
 And tonight we see His glory: the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth!
 Our blessed Lord became flesh and dwelt among us not simply to prove that He is real, but so that He could deliver us from our sins through His death on the cross. In short, Christ was born for us so that He could die for us.
 Thus Christmas is, in this sense, a precursor to Good Friday! We see this from the moment He was born.
 So poor was Jesus when He was born that His virgin mother laid Him in a wooden manger – a feeding trough for animals – foreshadowing the supreme moment of His life when our Lord would feel course wood against His back again on Calvary – poor and naked once as the day He was born.
 But in His generosity, it was not enough for our Lord to live and die for us. His incarnation was not only a gift to those who lived at the same time as He. Jesus is Emmanuel, God‐with‐us, and He is with us even now!
 We hear Him speaking to us through His Word contained within Sacred Scripture.
 In His mercy and goodness our Lord becomes present for us again at every Mass in the
miracle of Eucharist. In the Eucharist, which is His body, blood, soul, and divinity, our

Lord remains something that we can see and touch and even taste.

 No, my dear brothers and sisters, God is not an abstraction. He is not a fairy tale. God is
as real as you and me, and tonight we celebrate our Lord as a tiny babe born to the

Virgin Mary.

 Our world is dark today, and in the darkness of our world today it is often difficult to
see and know God. Indeed, faith is something most of us have to work at.

 In the busyness of modernity, it is easy to lose sight of this tiny baby born for us 2000
years ago.

 But Christmas confronts us with a decision: the decision of whether or not to believe
this truth and to live our lives like we believe it.

 For if we truly believe that Jesus is God, then we need to live in a way that is pleasing to
Him by fulfilling His commands, most especially the command to love Him above all

things and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

 And so for the past couple of Sundays I’ve been asking you, who or what is it that you
worship? For worshipping is an inescapable reality for man.

 Do you worship this God Who became man for us on this night some 2000 years ago in
the tiny village of Bethlehem?

 Trusting in His our Lord’s goodness and generosity, let us recommit ourselves tonight
to worshipping this tiny child who birth we are celebrating. Let us place all our faith and hope in Him, trusting that He is not only real, but that He will save us from our sins.


25 December 2012

© Reverend Timothy Reid

Fr. Reid is the pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC

Homilies from June 17, 2012 onward have audio .
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Mother and Child

In 07 Observations on 2014/12/25 at 12:00 AM

Jesus’ mother, Mary, is an essential and integral par of God’s plan for our redemption.

You cannot separate this mother from her child: Jesus and Mary go together.

Christ is given to us through His mother.

God chose to request a woman’s consent for His plan; what a testimony to God’s view of womanhood!

Nativity of the Lord

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2013/12/19 at 12:00 AM

The Nativity of the Lord  

After much waiting and anticipation, our “great cloud of witnesses” has finally arrived here at St. Ann’s….. I think you’ll find their presence in our church to be very consoling. Already in the short time that they’ve been here, I’ve taken great solace in the feeling that these saints are looking down upon us, praying for us.

Indeed, we are blessed to have them, and not simply because they add a great deal of beauty to our church. While it is true that statues and other works of art should provide a pleasing aesthetic to a church, they have a much more important role than just giving us delight.

Statues like this make visible in a symbolic way an invisible reality. In this particular case, our statues make visible the mystery of the Communion of Saints.

These statues remind us that the saints in Heaven are present to us, even though that great veil that separates Heaven and earth stands between us. They remind us that death does not fully sever our relations with those who have died in God’s friendship.

While we cannot see them, we know by faith that the saints are with us, interceding for us. The saints spur us on to victory, showing us the way to holiness by the example of their lives on earth. They remind us of the authenticity of our Catholic faith.

Throughout her history the Church has been the greatest patron of the arts, for she knows that man cannot exist as simply a utilitarian being. The human soul can never be satisfied with simply having its physical needs met. Mere functionality never fulfills us; we need beauty.

In fact our souls crave beauty, because beauty transports us beyond the confines of our material reality, and instinctively we know that there’s more to life than what meets the eye. Instinctively, we know that there is an invisible world around us.

Thus, good art and architecture are necessary components for churches, for it is here – in church – that we come by faith to meet and worship our invisible God. Good art and architecture work to strengthen our faith by making invisible realities symbolically visible.

Christmas is a fitting time to discuss this and understand this, for this is the very holiday, the very holy day, in which we celebrate the fact that our invisible God became visible – and not simply in a symbolic way, but really, truly visible.

As good St. John wrote in the prologue to his Gospel, the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. But God did not just become visible. He became one of us, which is a mystery we call the Incarnation, literally the “enfleshment.”

Because God became man, because by the Holy Spirit Jesus Christ was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man, as we now say in the new translation of the Creed, salvation is now a possibility for us.

Out of His unfathomable love, God created man in His own image and likeness from the dust of the earth, and He destined man to share in His own divine life as sons and daughters.

But despite the immense charity and love shown to them, our first parents turned against God. Seduced by the serpent, Adam and Eve introduced sin and death into our world, forfeiting our rights to an eternal inheritance.

And every person born since then, save our Lady and our blessed Lord, has been marked by that original sin of our first parents. Concupiscence and brokenness are now our inheritance.Unpleasant as it is, this is a reality that we must come to understand about ourselves if we wish to move beyond it. For our sinfulness is not something that we can ever conquer alone. All attempts to do so will eventually fall short.

No, my brothers and sisters, if we wish to move beyond our sinfulness, we must humbly recognize that we need a savior. We need someone to save us.

On Christmas we celebrate the fact that the love of God is so great that He would not leave man to suffer forever in this terrible state created by man’s own sinfulness. Fully aware of our weakness, our dear Lord became one of us in order to make satisfaction for our sins.

You see, my dear friends, Christmas is not simply the happy anniversary of our Lord’s birth. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our salvation! We celebrate not simply the fact that God became man. We celebrate the fact that He became man to save us from our sins!

In an even greater act of love than our creation, God wills to redeem mankind through the mystery of His Incarnation. And so Christmas is the celebration of this supreme act of love by God toward sinful man.

Christmas is the celebration of the invisible becoming visible! In the mystery of our Lord’s incarnation we find the satisfaction of our souls’ deepest desires.

Intuitively, man knows that he was created for more than this poor world can ever give us. At our deepest core, we all long and hope for Heaven. And at Christmas, we see this hope fulfilled in that tiny babe born on a cold night in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago.

While wrapped in the flesh of a tiny child, our Lord is the antidote for our sinfulness and the sadness our sins bring us. He is the cure for all the ailments of our souls.

Like the good shepherd who leaves everything behind to go into the dark valley to find His lost sheep, Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of the Father, comes to us now, so great is His love for us. He comes to suffer and die for our sins, so that we might be made whole.

No doubt most of us will receive many gifts this Christmas, and this is good. But let us not lose sight of the most important gift we are receiving: the gift of our salvation!

May we receive our invisible God made visible with humble and contrite hearts. May we show true sorrow for our sins, confess them, and make reparation for them.

And may we show the depth of our gratitude by following the saints in the path of holiness, so that we, in turn, might truly become like our Lord who became one of us.

A blessed Christmas to you all.

Copyright 2011 Rev. Timothy Reid, Pastor of St. Ann Church, Charlotte, NC

Incarnation: God Assumes a Human Condition to Heal It

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2013/12/12 at 12:00 AM

The meaning of the word Incarnation, “a term,” the Pope said, “that has resounded many times in our Churches over these past days, expressing the reality that we celebrate at Christmas: the Son of God become man, as we say in the Creed.”

The Holy Father began by explaining the meaning of this word, which is central to the Christian faith, starting from the Church Fathers, especially St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Irenaeus, who used it when “reflecting on the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel, particularly in the expression, ‘the Word became flesh’. Here the word ‘flesh’,” the Pope emphasized, “refers to the person in their entirety, precisely in light of their transcience and temporality, their poverty and contingency. This tells us that the salvation wrought by God made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth reaches the human person in their concrete reality and in whatever situation they may find themselves. God took on the human condition in order to heal it of everything that separates it from Him, in order to allow us to call Him, in his Only Begotten Son, by the name of ‘Abba, Father’, and to truly be children of God.”

Then the Pope recalled the Christmas tradition of exchanging gifts with those closest to us. Sometimes this may be a gesture undertaken out of convention but, generally, it “expresses affection. It is a sign of love and esteem.” This same idea of giving is at the heart of the liturgy of these feastdays and “it reminds us of the original gift of Christmas. On that holy night, God, becoming man, wanted to make himself a gift for humanity … he took on our humanity in order to give us His divinity. This is the great gift. … In this we find the model of our giving because our relationships, especially those which are most important, are guided by generosity and love.”

The fact of the Incarnation, of God who makes himself man like us, shows us “the unprecedented reality of divine love. God’s action, in fact, is not limited to words. Rather, we can say that He is not satisfied with speaking but immerses himself in our history and takes upon himself the worry and the weight of human life. … God’s way of acting is a strong stimulus for us to ask ourselves about the reality of our faith, which should not be limited to the arena of feeling, of the emotions, but must enter into the concrete reality of our existence, must touch, that is, our everyday life and orient it in a practical way. … Faith has a fundamental aspect that affects not only our mind and our heart but all of our life.”

Citing the Church Fathers again, the Pope observed that on numerous occasions Jesus was compared with Adam, even to the point of calling Him the “second Adam”, or the definitive Adam, the perfect image of God. With the Incarnation of the Son of God a new creation occurs, which gives a complete answer to the question ‘who is man?’ … Only in Jesus is God’s plan for human being fully revealed: He is the definitive man according to God.”

“It is important, therefore, that we rediscover our wonder at this mystery, that we let ourselves be enveloped by the grandeur of this event: God walked our paths as man. He entered into human history to give us His very life. And he did this not with the splendour of a sovereign, subjugating the world with his power, but with the humility of a child.”

“In that child, the Son of God whom we contemplate at Christmastime,” Benedict XVI concluded, “we can recognize the true face of the human being, and only in opening ourselves to the action of His grace and seeking every day to follow Him do we carry out God’s plan for us.”

VIS # 130109

What the Resurrection of Christ Means for Our Lives

In Uncategorized on 2013/04/16 at 6:30 PM

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good day!

 Today I would like to reflect on its meaning for salvation. What does the Resurrection mean for our lives? And why, without it, is our faith in vain? Our faith is based on the death and resurrection of Christ, just like a house built on foundations: if they give in, the whole house collapses.

On the Cross, Jesus offered himself taking sins upon himself our and going down into the abyss of death, and in the Resurrection he defeats them, he removes them and opens up to us the path to be reborn to a new life. St. Peter expresses it briefly at the beginning of his First Letter, as we have heard: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you”(1:3-4).

The Apostle tells us that the Resurrection of Jesus is something new: we are freed from the slavery of sin and become children of God, that we are born to a new life. When does this happen to us? In the Sacrament of Baptism. In ancient times, it was normally received through immersion. Those to be baptized immersed themselves in the large pool within the Baptistery, leaving their clothes, and the bishop or the priest would pour water over their head three times, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Then the baptized would emerge from the pool and put on a new vestment, a white one: they were born to a new life, immersing themselves in the death and resurrection of Christ. They had become children of God. I

In the Letter to the Romans Saint Paul writes: you ” For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father! ‘”(Rom. 8:15). It is the Holy Spirit that we received in baptism that teaches us, leads us to say to God, “Father.” Or rather, Abba Father. This is our God, He is a father to us.

The Holy Spirit produces in us this new status as children of God, and this is the greatest gift we receive from the Paschal Mystery of Jesus. And God treats us as His children, He understands us, forgives us, embraces us, loves us even when we make mistakes . In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah said that even though a mother may forget her child, God never, ever forgets us (cf. 49:15). And this is a beautiful thing, beautiful!

However, this filial relationship with God is not like a treasure to be kept in a corner of our lives. It must grow, it must be nourished every day by hearing the Word of God, prayer, participation in the sacraments, especially the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist and charity. We can live as children! We can live as children! And this is our dignity. So let us behave as true children! This means that each day we must let Christ transform us and make us like Him; it means trying to live as Christians, trying to follow him, even if we see our limitations and our weaknesses.

The temptation to put God to one side, to put ourselves at the center is ever-present and the experience of sin wounds our Christian life, our being children of God. This is why we must have the courage of faith, we must resist being led to the mentality that tells us: “There is no need for God, He is not that important for you”. It is the exact opposite: only by behaving as children of God, without being discouraged by our falls, can we feel loved by Him, our life will be new, inspired by serenity and joy. God is our strength! God is our hope!

Dear brothers and sisters, we must first must firmly have this hope and we must be visible, clear, brilliant signs of hope in world. The Risen Lord is the hope that never fails, that does not disappoint (cf. Rom 5:5). God’s hope never disappoints!. How many times in our life do our hopes vanish, how many times do the expectations that we carry in our heart not come true! The hope of Christians is strong, safe and sound in this land, where God has called us to walk, and is open to eternity, because it is founded on God, who is always faithful.

We should never forget this; God is always faithful! God is always faithful! Be risen with Christ through Baptism, with the gift of faith, to an imperishable inheritance, leads us to increasingly search for the things of God, to think of Him more, to pray more. Christianity is not simply a matter of following commandments; it is about living a new life, being in Christ, thinking and acting like Christ, and being transformed by the love of Christ, it is allowing Him take possession of our lives and change them, transform them, to free them from the darkness of evil and sin.

Dear brothers and sisters, to those who ask us our reasons for the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3:15), let us point to the Risen Christ. Let us point to Him with the proclamation of the Word, but especially with our resurrected life. Let us show the joy of being children of God, the freedom he gives us to live in Christ, who is true freedom, freedom from the slavery of evil, sin and death! In looking to our heavenly home, we will also have a new light and strength in our commitment and in our daily efforts. It is a precious service that we give to our world, which is often no longer able to lift its gaze upwards, it no longer seems able to lift its gaze towards God.


Christ Has Risen, He is Risen Indeed!

In Uncategorized on 2013/03/31 at 9:46 AM

“Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, Happy Easter! Happy Easter!”

“What a joy it is to announce this message: Christ is risen! I would like it to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons… Most of all, I would like it to enter every heart, for it is there that God wants to sow this Good News: Jesus is risen, there is hope for you, you are no longer in the power of sin or of evil! Love has triumphed! Mercy has been victorious! God’s mercy always triumphs!”

“We too, like the women who were Jesus’ disciples, who went to the tomb and found it empty, may wonder what this event means (cf. Lk 24:4). What does it mean that Jesus is risen? It means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself; it means that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom. God’s love can do this.”

“This same love out of which the Son of God became man and followed the way of humility and self-giving to the very end, down to hell—to the abyss of separation from God—this same merciful love has flooded Jesus’ dead body with light and transfigured it; has made it pass into eternal life. Jesus did not return to his former life, to an earthly life, but entered into the glorious life of God and He entered there with our humanity, opening us to a future of hope.”

“This is what Easter is: it is the exodus, the passage of human beings from the slavery to sin and evil to the freedom of love and goodness. Because God is life, life alone, and we are his glory, the living person.”

“Dear brothers and sisters, Christ died and rose once for all time and for everyone, but the power of the Resurrection, this passing from the slavery to evil to the freedom of goodness, must be accomplished in every age, in our concrete existence, in our everyday lives. How many deserts, even today, do human beings need to cross! Above all, the desert within, when are lacking love for God and neighbour, when we fail to realize that we are guardians of all that the Creator has given us and continues to give us. God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14).”

“So this is the invitation that I address to everyone: Let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection! Let us be renewed by God’s mercy! Let us be loved by Jesus! Let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.”

“And so we ask the risen Jesus, who turns death into life, to change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace. Yes, Christ is our peace, and through him we implore peace for all the world.”

“Peace for the Middle East, in particular between Israelis and Palestinians who struggle to find the road of agreement: that they may willingly and courageously resume negotiations to end a conflict that has lasted all too long. Peace in Iraq: that every act of violence may end. And above all for dear Syria, for its people torn by conflict and for the many refugees who await help and comfort. How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution to the crisis will be found?”

“Peace for Africa, still the scene of bloody conflicts. In Mali: may unity and stability be restored. In Nigeria, where attacks sadly continue, gravely threatening the lives of many innocent people, and where great numbers of persons, including children, are held hostage by terrorist groups. Peace in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Central African Republic where many have been forced to leave their homes and continue to live in fear.”

“Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow.”

“Peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and the family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this twenty-first century. Human trafficking is precisely the most extensive form of slavery in this twenty-first century! Peace to the whole world, torn apart by violence linked to drug trafficking and by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources! Peace to this our Earth! Made the risen Jesus bring comfort to the victims of natural disasters and make us responsible guardians of creation.”

“Dear brothers and sisters, to all of you who are listening to me, from Rome and from all over of the world, I address the invitation of the Psalm: ‘Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; for his mercy endures for ever. Let Israel say: “His mercy endures forever”.’ (Ps 118:1-2).”

“Dear brothers and sisters who have come from all over the world to this Square, the heart of Christianity and to all of you joining us via the media, I repeat my wishes for a happy Easter! Bring to your families and your nations the message of joy, of hope, and of peace that every year, on this day, is powerfully renewed. May the Risen Lord, who defeated sin and death, sustain us all especially the weakest and those most in need. Thank you for your presence and the witness of your faith. A thought and special thanks for the gift of these beautiful flowers that come from the Netherlands. I affectionately repeat to all of you: May the Risen Christ guide all of you and all of humanity on the paths of justice, love, and peace!”

Then, in Latin, Pope Francis imparted the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing.

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