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Pope Francis deliveres the Regina Caeli address in the library of the Apostolic Palace Pope Francis deliveres the Regina Caeli address in the library of the Apostolic Palace  (Vatican Media)

Pope at Regina Caeli: 'Life has the last word'

From the library of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis holds the noon-day Regina Caeli on Easter Monday, saying "Jesus resurrection tells us that death does not have the last word, life does".

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

“Today, Easter Monday of the Angel, the joyous proclamation of Christ’s resurrection resounds”. Pope Francis thus began his remarks before leading the Regina Caeli prayer at noon from the library of the Apostolic Palace.

Jesus is risen!

His remarks focused on the day’s Gospel reading (cfr Mt 28:8-15). The Gospel recounts that the fearful women meet Jesus Himself as they are running away from His empty tomb. “Do not be afraid”, Jesus tells them. Then He asks them to tell His disciples to go to Galilee where He will see them.

Jesus reward to the faithful women

Pope Francis that “With these words, the Risen One entrusts the women with a missionary mandate to the Apostles”. This is how Jesus rewards them, with a gesture that shows “attention and predilection”, he continued. Throughout his public life and passion, they had been faithful in showing him selfless dedication and love.

Slow to believe

These women and the disciples were slow to believe, even though Jesus “had foretold a number of time” that He would die and rise again, the Pope said. They were not ready yet. Their faith needed “to take a qualitative step forward”. Only the Risen Jesus’s gift of the Holy Spirit could have “provoked” them to take that step, Pope Francis explained.

The Good News has reached every corner of the earth

After that, Peter, and many others after him, have boldly proclaimed Jesus’s resurrection. That proclamation, the Pope said, “has spread everywhere” reaching every corner of the earth”. It has become “a message of hope for everyone.”

“Jesus’s resurrection tells us that death does not have the last word, life does.”

Christ, my hope is arisen!

This is why out outlook can be hopeful amidst life's most difficult and uncertain moments of life, the Pope said. “This is the Easter message that we are called to proclaim with words, and above all through the witness of life”, he said.

“In our homes and in our hearts, may this joyful news resound: ‘Christ, my hope, is arisen!’”

Mary, silent witness

Concluding his remarks before reciting the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis invoked Mary, the “silent witness” of Jesus’s death and resurrection. He asked her to help us believe in the “mystery of salvation” that, when “welcomed with faith, can change our lives”.

“It is this Easter wish that renews everyone. I entrust it to You, our Mother, whom we now invoke with the prayer, the Regina Caeli.”

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13 April 2020, 12:20