Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen!
In the words of Pope Francis in the Urbi et Orbi Message of Easter 2013, “let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection! Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of His love to transform our lives too and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish”.
The tomb is empty. It is a silent witness to the central event of human history: the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. For almost 2,000 years the empty tomb has borne witness to the victory of Life over death. With the Apostles and Evangelists, with the Church of every time and place, we too bear witness and proclaim: “Christ is risen! Raised from the dead he will never die again; death no longer has power over him” (cf. Rom 6:9).
“Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando; dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus” (Latin Easter Sequence Victimae paschali). The Lord of Life was dead; now He reigns, victorious over death, the source of everlasting life for all who believe.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
These have been days of intense emotion, a time when our soul has been stirred not only by the memory of what God has done but by His very presence, walking with us once again in the land of Christ’s Birth, Death and Resurrection. And at every step of this Jubilee Pilgrimage Mary has been with us, lighting our pilgrim path and sharing the joys and sorrows of her sons and daughters.
With Mary, Mater dolorosa, we stand in the shadow of the Cross and weep with her over the affliction of Jerusalem and over the sins of the world. We stand with her in the silence of Calvary and see the blood and water flowing from the wounded side of her Son. Realising the terrible consequences of sin, we are moved to repentance for our own sins and for the sins of the Church’s children in every age. O Mary, conceived without sin, help us on the path to conversion!
With Mary, Stella matutina, we have been touched by the light of the Resurrection. We rejoice with her that the empty tomb has become the womb of eternal life, where He who rose from the dead now sits at the Father’s right hand. With her we give endless thanks for the grace of the Holy Spirit whom the risen Lord sent upon the Church at Pentecost and whom He continually pours into our hearts, for our salvation and for the good of the human family.
Mary, Regina in caelum assumpta . From the tomb of her Son, we look to the tomb where Mary lay sleeping in peace, awaiting her glorious Assumption. The Divine Liturgy celebrated at her tomb in Jerusalem has Mary say: “Even beyond death, I am not far from you”. And in the Liturgy her children reply: “Seeing your tomb, O holy Mother of God, we seem to contemplate you. O Mary, you are the joy of the angels, the comfort of the afflicted. We proclaim you as the stronghold of all Christians and, most of all, as our Mother”.
In contemplating the Theotókos, almost at this journey’s end, we look upon the true face of the Church, radiant in all her beauty, shining with “the glory of God which is on the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). O Advocate, help the Church to be ever more like you, her exalted model. Help her to grow in faith, hope and love, as she searches out and does the will of God in all things (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 65). O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”