Take courage, do not be afraid and have hope, Christ is risen!
At the Easter vigil, Pope Francis recalls that "God is faithful" and does not abandon us. Do not be afraid, do not yield to fear: This is the message of hope. It is addressed to us, today. These are the words that God repeats to us this very night. Tonight we acquire a fundamental right that can never be taken away from us: The hope of Jesus "the certainty in the heart that God knows how to turn everything to good."
On the night when Jesus is risen, we must not abandon ourselves to resignation, but hold on to our right to hope, take courage and trust, everything will be fine, because the Lord is faithful.
Pope Francis’ message this Easter vigil of the Holy Night, the “vigil of all vigils”, is an exhortation to hope and trust. And it is also a warning to “turn your back on death”, rejecting war, abortion, selfishness.
The special celebration, without the faithful, began with the rite of the blessing of the fire that took place at the foot of the altar of Confession and not at the door of the basilica, there was no preparation of the Easter candle, nor the lighting of the candles of those present. There were no adult baptisms.
In preparing the perfumes for the body of Jesus, ” Unbeknownst to these women, they were making preparations, in the darkness of that Sabbath, for “the dawn of the first day of the week”, the day that would change history. Jesus, like a seed buried in the ground, was about to make new life blossom in the world.”
“How many people, in these sad days, have done and are still doing what those women did, sowing seeds of hope! With small gestures of care, affection and prayer. At dawn the women went to the tomb. There the angel says to them: “Do not be afraid. He is not here; for he has risen” (vv. 5-6).”
“Do not be afraid, do not yield to fear: This is the message of hope. It is addressed to us, today. These are the words that God repeats to us this very night.
“Tonight we acquire a fundamental right that can never be taken away from us. It is not mere optimism; It is a gift from heaven, which we could not have earned on our own. Dear sister, dear brother, even if in your heart you have buried hope, do not give up: God is greater. Darkness and death do not have the last word. Be strong, for with God nothing is lost! Courage!”
“Today, as pilgrims in search of hope, we cling to you, Risen Jesus. We turn our backs on death and open our hearts to you, for you are Life itself”.