Excerpts from Pope Francis Easter Monday Greetings
“Christ is risen” he said in Greek and Italian. He used Greek because this week too the Oriental Churches celebrated Jesus’ resurrection on the same day as the Churches of the West - April 20.
“Christ is Risen, and he is with us here in this square today”, he told these pilgrims from many lands, including his native Argentina. “We can exchange Easter greetings throughout this period because this week is as one day”, he added.
“We share a joy, a joy full of wonder, a joy that comes from within” because Jesus has risen from the dead, he told them.
“We share the joy of the disciples to whom the women had brought the news that ‘Jesus is risen; we have seen him’”, he said.
“Let us experience this joy, and let us radiate this joy in our lives, in our thoughts, in our looks, our deeds and our words”, he urged those listening in the square under a clear blue sky and bright sunshine.
“Would that we were so radiant!” he remarked. He assured them that such radiant joy “is not make-up”; on the contrary “it’s something deep inside, from a heart immersed in this joy, like that of Mary Magdalene who wept for the loss of her Lord and could not believe her eyes on seeing him risen from the dead”.
Pope Francis explained that the person who has this experience “becomes a witness of the Resurrection of Jesus, because in a certain sense he has risen, she has risen, and so is able to bring that ‘ray’ of the light of the Resurrection into the various human situations: into those happy ones, rendering them more beautiful and preserving them from egoism; and into those sorrowful situations, bringing serenity and hope.”
He also suggested that they would do well “to think of the joy of Mary, the mother of Jesus” who first experienced deep sorrow at the passion and crucifixion of her Son, but “did not lose hope” and later experienced that “profound inner joy” at his resurrection from the dead, seeing it as “the expression of the supreme love of God”.
He recalled that after going through the experience of the death and resurrection of her Son, the heart of Mary became “a wellspring of peace, hope, compassion and mercy.” She has become “the mother of all hopes, the mother of the disciples and of the Church”, because “She died with him, and she has risen with him”. He encouraged the pilgrims to ask her “to introduce us to that joy of Easter”, by reciting this festive season’s hymn to Mary - “Regina Coeli Laetari” (Queen of Heaven Rejoice!”)