Bear Witness To The Joy Of The Resurrection


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VATICAN CITY, 7 APR 2010 (VIS) - This morning the Pope traveled from Castelgandolfo to the Vatican for his weekly general audience, which took place in St. Peter's Square.

"Over these days", he said addressing the 21,00 people from various countries gathered in the square, "the Church is celebrating the mystery of the Resurrection and experiencing the great joy that arises from the good news of Christ's triumph over evil and death. A joy that lasts not just for the Easter Octave but stretches over fifty days until Pentecost".

"Christ's Easter is the supreme and insuperable act of God's power. It is an absolutely extraordinary event, the most beautiful and mature fruit of the 'mystery of God'. ... Yet it is also a real historical fact, witnessed and documented. It is the event upon which all our faith rests. It is the central point in which we believe and the principal reason for which we believe".

"All our faith rests on the constant and faithful transmission of the 'good news'" that Christ is risen, said the Holy Father. This, he explained, "requires the work of enthusiastic and courageous witnesses. Each disciple of Christ, each one of us, is called to be a witness. This is the precise, demanding and stimulating command of the risen Lord".

Like the Apostles, we too "are certain that the Lord, today as yesterday, works with His witnesses. This is a fact we can recognize whenever we see the seeds of a true and lasting peace germinate, wherever the commitment and example of Christians and of men and women of good will is animated by respect for justice, patient dialogue, convinced respect for others, disinterestedness, and individual and community sacrifice. Unfortunately, we also see much suffering, violence and misunderstanding in the world. The celebration of the Paschal Mystery ... is an appropriate moment to rediscover and profess ... our trust in the risen Lord, Who accompanies the witnesses of His word, working prodigies with them.

"We will truly and fully become witnesses of the risen Christ when we allow the prodigy of His love to transpire in us", the Holy Father added; "when in our words, and even more in our deeds - in full coherence with the Gospel - it is possible to recognize the voice and hand of Jesus Himself".

And we will be witnesses of the Lord "only on the basis of, and with constant reference to, the experience of Easter", said the Pope. "In this personal encounter with the Risen One lies the unshakeable foundation and the central issue of our faith, the fresh and eternal wellspring of our hope, the ardent dynamism of our charity. Thus will our own Christian lives fully coincide with the announcement: 'Christ the Lord is truly risen".

Among his remarks to pilgrims at the end of his audience, the Pope addressed "cordial greeting and best wishes to all Russians, both those who live in their homeland and those scattered around the world. May the Solemnity of Easter, which this year Catholics and Orthodox have had the joy of celebrating together, be an occasion for renewed fraternity and ever more intense collaboration in truth and in charity".

At the end of his audience, the Holy Father returned by helicopter to the pontifical residence at Castelgandolfo.