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The beginning of the new world

· At the General Audience the Pope speaks of the results of the Resurrection among Jesus' disciples ·

“Today too the Risen One enters our homes and our hearts, even though the doors are sometimes closed”, to bring “joy and peace, life and hope”, the Holy Father said at the General Audience in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday, 11 April.

Having arrived by helicopter from Castel Gandolfo where he has been staying since Sunday afternoon, Benedict XVI dedicated his weekly meeting with the faithful to “the transformation that the Pasch of Jesus brought about in his disciples”.  From the very evening of the day of the Resurrection – when  the Lord enters the house where they had locked themselves in for fear of the Jews and greets them with the words: “peace to you”, a “common greeting”, as the Pontiff described it, but which  “nevertheless acquires new significance because it brings about an inner change; it is the Easter greeting that enables the disciples to overcome all fear”.

Peace thus becomes “the gift that the Risen One wishes to offer his friends”. And at the same time, it is  a “consignment”, because, the Pope explained “it is for them but also for all, and the disciples must pass it on to the whole world”.  Not by chance did Jesus blow upon them and regenerate them with the Holy Spirit: an action which is the sign of the “new creation” with which “ a new world begins”.  Hence the invitation to proclaim everywhere the newness of Easter so that “the thorns of sin which wound the human heart leave room for the new shoots of grace, of God’s presence and of his love that triumphs over sin and death”.

We need all this today, the Pope emphasized, “for our human and spiritual rebirth”. Indeed, only Christ, “can roll away those stones from the tombs in which all too often people seal themselves off from their own feelings, their own relationships, their own behaviour; stones that bring death: division, enmity, resentment, envy, diffidence, indifference”. He alone, the Holy Father added, “can give meaning to existence and enable those who are weary and sad, downhearted and drained of hope, to continue on their journey”; just as happened to the disciples of Emmaus, burning “with love for the Risen One, who opened their hearts to an uncontainable joy”. In fact, after their encounter with the Lord, who explained the meaning of the Scriptures and broke the Eucharistic Bread, they rediscover “the enthusiasm of faith, love for the community, the need to communicate the Good News” so that the testimony of the Resurrection may “become for them an irrepressible need”.

“May the Easter season”, was the conclusive hoped expressed by Benedict XVI, be for all a favourable opportunity to rediscover the sources of faith with joy and enthusiasm”, and to let themselves be met by the Lord, who “walks with us to guide us in our life”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 19, 2019

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