Easter Sunday (31 March 2013)
Dear brothers and sisters, we have every reason to look with longing for the great feast of Easter as the blessed day when the empty tomb, with the Lord Jesus, "new" man, we too come out, by the Spirit made as "new creatures" . The Apostle John expresses in a remarkable synthesis the meaning of Jesus' Passover, defined as the "pass from this world to the Father. But the contents of this decisive action of Christ is one of love: "... after having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (Jn 13:1), through the supreme sacrifice of himself, removing from, through his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself of the two, one new man, making peace" (f 2:15). So, the movement of love, that "God sent his Son, born of woman, born under the law" (Gal 4:4), is welded to the immolation, free and total, of the Son of God, precious fruit of the "passage of the Lord" is the birth of a "new man", which runs the original plan of God the Creator: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen 1:26).
In the joyous contemplation of the wonderful work of God, we are inwardly compelled to sing with Psalmist: "This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Ps 177:24). But, at the same time, need devout meditation to understand the whole rich depth and novelty of the work of God, which we fully respect. The risen Christ is the new man: this is beautiful and revelation which introduces the second and final creation. Shocking because it is true and real as today, in Jesus and in us, the Lord's Paschal Mystery, mystery of human reprocessing. Because, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature and human; old things are passed away, behold the new has come" (2 Cor 5:17). The new man born and revealed in the Paschal Mystery is the man dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus our resurrection, therefore, begins here: to live without sin.
Brothers and sisters, we have to consider to revive this Easter day. St. Leo the Great said: "Of course, in the washing of regeneration, men are born new, but they all have the duty to renew daily; liberate from our mortal condition…"
In the letter to the Philippians, Paul contrasts the life of "enemies of the Cross", the lives of believers and declares: "Our citizenship is in Heaven" (Phil 3:20): he is our home. So, logically, we have to think about the things up there and sweep away everything that prevents. To live is essential and to have a support of this new life, Jesus. Every one needs the Word of God to live in this new life in this world. “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4). “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” (Ezekiel 3:1) “Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land. So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey. I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.” (Rev. 10.8 to 11). And 'The food is for all the children of God because "The Word became flesh" (Jn 1:14) and this meat is said, "Take, eat, this is my body" (Matthew 26:26). Ignorance of Scripture, in fact, is ignorance of Christ (DV 25) – EUCHARIST. “Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you. (Mt 26:27). We have to live the holy mystery of the Eucharist, with the heart and lips in the spirit of the Church, and feed the spiritual life from this inexhaustible source. (PC 6) - CHARITY. And 'the new element, characterizes the Christian religion: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34). “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”(Jn 4:23). What distinguishes the true worshipers of the Father is love: "So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go, first be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift" (Mt 5:23-24). The charity is worth the sacrifice. E.S. James speaks of charity as a condition of being disciples: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).
I would like to finish recalling what St. Bonaventure said about St. Francis of Assisi: “People of all ages and of both sexes ran to see and hear the man again given from heaven to the world.”
Happy Easter, dear brothers and sisters, in the company of the Most Holy Mother of the Risen Lord. “Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead (Col. 2:12), and we are witnessing a new life, looking and thinking about the things that are above.