By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, FSP
Lorena Bianchetti, the host of an Italian television show called A Sua Immagine ("In His Image"), recognized the caller’s voice immediately. “Pope Francis!” she exclaimed. “Welcome to the programme”.
“You recognized my voice!” the Pope replied.
Lorena then thanked the Pope for calling, “but above all, for what you are doing for all of us, for how you are participating in such a paternal way in our sufferings”. Then, as any other host she had a question for the Pope. “Your Holiness”, she asked, “how are you living these days?”
The “crucified” of today
“I am thinking of the crucified Lord and of the many stories of history’s crucifixions, those of today, of this pandemic”, the Pope replied. Then he listed those whom he has been mentioning frequently: doctors, nurses, sisters, priests. They have “died on the front lines, like soldiers, who have given their lives out of love”. He compared them to Mary, steadfast at the foot of the cross. They found that cross, the Pope said, “in their communities, in hospitals, treating the sick”. They are the “crucified of today, dying out of love”. This is what Pope Francis is thinking about in these days.
Pope looks to hope
The Pope then underlined that he is near to those who are suffering, especially because of the pandemic. However, he is “looking up, looking toward hope, because hope does not disappoint. It does not take away pain, but it does not disappoint.”
Love the last word
Lorena then asked a further question: “So, Holy Father, once again, notwithstanding everything, this will be an Easter of the Resurrection, an Easter of peace?”
“Easter always ends in the Resurrection and in peace”, he replied. This does not mean a “happy ending”, he continued, “but a loving commitment that makes you tread a difficult path. But He trod it first. This comforts us and gives us strength”.