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Sunday, April 16, 2017

0526: Reflections Delivered on Easter Monday
by Pope Francis

Entry 0526: Reflections Delivered on 
Easter Monday 

by Pope Francis 

On four occasions during his pontificate, Pope Francis has delivered reflections on Easter Monday prior to the recitation of the prayer Regina Caeli, on 1 April 2013, 21 April 2014, 6 April 2015, and 28 March 2016. Here are the texts of the four brief reflections delivered on these occasions.



St. Peter’s Square, Easter Monday, 1 April 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Good Morning and a Happy Easter to you all! I thank you for coming here today too in such large numbers, to share in the joy of Easter, the central mystery of our faith. May the power of Christ’s Resurrection reach every person—especially those who are suffering—and all the situations most in need of trust and hope.

Christ has fully triumphed over evil once and for all, but it is up to us, to the people of every epoch, to welcome this victory into our life and into the actual situations of history and society. For this reason it seems to me important to emphasize what we ask God today in the liturgy. “O God, who give constant increase/to your Church by new offspring,/grant that your servants may hold fast in their lives/to the Sacrament they have received in faith” (Collect, Monday within the Octave of Easter).

It is true, yes, Baptism that makes us children of God and the Eucharist that unites us to Christ must become life, that is, they must be expressed in attitudes, behavior, gestures and decisions. The grace contained in the Sacraments of Easter is an enormous potential for the renewal of our personal existence, of family life, of social relations. However everything passes through the human heart: if I let myself be touched by the grace of the Risen Christ, if I let him change me in that aspect of mine which is not good, which can hurt me and others, I allow the victory of Christ to be affirmed in my life, to broaden its beneficial action. This is the power of grace! Without grace we can do nothing. Without grace we can do nothing! And with the grace of Baptism and of Eucharistic Communion I can become an instrument of God’s mercy, of that beautiful mercy of God.

To express in life the sacrament we have received: dear brothers and sisters, this is our daily duty, but I would also say our daily joy! The joy of feeling we are instruments of Christ’s grace, like branches of the vine that is Christ himself, brought to life by the sap of his Spirit!

Let us pray together, in the name of the dead and Risen Lord and through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, that the Paschal Mystery may work profoundly within us and in our time so that hatred may give way to love, falsehood to truth, revenge to forgiveness, and sadness to joy.



Saint Peter’s Square, Easter Monday, 21 April 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

Happy Easter! “Cristòs anèsti!—Alethòs anèsti!” “Christ is risen!—He is risen indeed!” He is among us, here, in the Square! This week we can continue to exchange Easter greetings, as though it were one single day. It is the great day which the Lord has made.

The dominant sentiment that shines forth from the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection is joy full of wonder, but a great wonder! Joy that comes from within! And in the Liturgy we relive the state of mind of the disciples over the news which the women had brought: Jesus is Risen! We have seen him!

Let us allow this experience which is inscribed in the Gospel also to be imprinted in our hearts and shine forth from our lives. Let us allow the joyous wonder of Easter Sunday to shine forth in our thoughts, glances, behavior, gestures and words. If only we were so luminous! But this is not just cosmetic! It comes from within, from a heart immersed in the source of this joy, like that of Mary Magdalene, who wept over the loss of her Lord and could hardly believe her eyes seeing him Risen.

Whoever experiences this becomes a witness of the Resurrection, for in a certain sense he himself has risen, she herself has risen. He or she is then capable of carrying a “ray” of light of the Risen One into various situations: to those that are happy, making them more beautiful by preserving them from egoism; to those that are painful, bringing serenity and hope.

Over the course of this week it will do us good to take up the Book of the Gospel and read those chapters which speak about Jesus’ Resurrection. It will really do us good! To take up the Book, look for the chapter and read it. It will also benefit us this week to think about the joy of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Just as her pain was intimate enough to pierce her soul, so too her joy was also intimate and deep, and the disciples were able to draw from it. Having passed through the experience of the death and Resurrection of her Son, seen in faith as the supreme expression of God’s love, Mary’s heart became a font of peace, consolation, hope and mercy. All of the prerogatives of our Mother derive from this, from her participation Jesus’ Paschal Mystery. From Friday until Sunday morning she did not lose hope: we contemplated the sorrowful Mother but, at the same time, the Mother full of hope. She, who is the Mother of all of the disciples, the Mother of the Church, is the Mother of hope.

Let us ask her, the silent witness of the death and Resurrection of Jesus, to introduce us into Paschal joy. We will do so by reciting the Regina Caeli, which at Easter time replaces the prayer of the Angelus.



Saint Peter’s Square, Easter Monday, 6 April 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning and Happy Easter!

On this Easter Monday the Gospel (see Mt 28:8-15) presents to us the narrative of the women who, on arriving at Jesus’ tomb, find it empty and see an Angel who announces to them that He is risen. And as they run to tell this news to the disciples, they encounter Jesus himself who says to them: “Go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me” (v. 10). Galilee is the “periphery” where Jesus began his preaching; and from there He will share the Gospel of the Resurrection, for it to be proclaimed to all, and that everyone might encounter Him, the Risen One, present and working in history. Today too He is with us, here in the Square.

This, therefore, is the proclamation that the Church repeats from the first day: “Christ is risen!” And, in Him, through Baptism, we too are risen, we have passed from death to life, from the slavery of sin to the freedom of love. Behold the Good News that we are called to take to others and to every place, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus and the hope that He brought us is the most beautiful gift that the Christian can and must give to his brothers. To all and to each, therefore, let us not tire of saying: Christ is risen! Let us repeat it all together, today here in the Square: Christ is risen! Let us repeat it with words, but above all with the witness of our lives. The happy news of the Resurrection should shine on our faces, in our feelings and attitudes, in the way we treat others.

We proclaim the Resurrection of Christ when his light illuminates the dark moments of our life and we can share that with others: when we know how to smile with those who smile and weep with those who weep; when we walk beside those who are sad and in danger of losing hope; when we recount our experience of faith with those who are searching for meaning and for happiness. With our attitude, with our witness, with our life, we say: Jesus is risen! Let us say it with all our soul.

We are in days of the Easter Octave, during which the joyful atmosphere of the Resurrection accompanies us. It’s curious how the Liturgy considers the entire Octave as one single day, in order to help us centre into the Mystery, so that his grace may impress itself on our hearts and our lives. Easter is the event that brought radical news for every human being, for history and for the world: the triumph of life over death; it is the feast of reawakening and of rebirth. Let us allow our lives to be conquered and transformed by the Resurrection!

Let us ask the Virgin Mother, the silent witness of the death and Resurrection of her Son, to foster the growth of Paschal joy in us. Let us do it now with the recitation of the Regina Caeli, which in the Easter Season substitutes the prayer of the Angelus. In this prayer, expressed by the Alleluia, we turn to Mary inviting her to rejoice, because the One whom she carried in her womb is Risen as He promised, and we entrust ourselves to her intercession. In fact, our joy is a reflection of Mary’s joy, for it is she who guarded and guards with faith the events of Jesus. Let us therefore recite this prayer with the emotion of children who are happy because their mother is happy.



Saint Peter’s Square, Easter Monday, 28 March 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good Morning!

On this Monday after Easter, called “Monday of the Angel” our hearts are again filled with the joy of Easter. After the Lenten season, the time of penance and conversion, which the Church has lived with particular intensity during this Holy Year of Mercy; after the striking celebrations of the Holy Triduum; today too, we stand before Jesus’ empty tomb, and we meditate with wonder and gratitude on the Resurrection of the Lord.

Life has conquered death. Mercy and Love have conquered sin! We need faith and hope in order to open ourselves to this new and marvelous horizon. And we know that faith and hope are gifts from God, and we need to ask for them: “Lord, grant me faith, grant me hope! I need them so much!” Let us be permeated by the emotions that resound in the Easter sequence: “Yes, we are sure of it: Christ indeed from death is risen.” The Lord has risen among us! This truth indelibly marked the lives of the Apostles who, after the Resurrection, again sensed the need to follow their Teacher and, having received the Holy Spirit, set out fearlessly to proclaim to all what they had seen with their own eyes and personally experienced.

In this Jubilee Year we are called to rediscover and to receive with particular intensity the comforting news of the Resurrection: “Christ my hope is arisen!” Since Christ is resurrected, we can look with new eyes and a new heart at every event of our lives, even the most negative ones. Moments of darkness, of failure and even sin can be transformed and announce the beginning of a new path. When we have reached the lowest point of our misery and our weakness, the Risen Christ gives us the strength to rise again. If we entrust ourselves to him, his grace saves us! The Lord, Crucified and Risen, is the full revelation of mercy, present and working throughout history. This is the Paschal message that resounds again today and will resound for the whole Easter Season until Pentecost.

The silent witness to the events of Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection was Mary. She stood beside the Cross: she did not fold in the face of pain; her faith made her strong. In the broken heart of the Mother, the flame of hope was kept ever burning. Let us ask her to help us too to fully accept the Easter proclamation of the Resurrection, so as to embody it in the concreteness of our daily lives.

May the Virgin Mary give us the faithful certitude that every step suffered on our journey, illuminated by the light of Easter, will become a blessing and a joy for us and for others, especially for those suffering because of selfishness and indifference.

Let us invoke her, therefore, with faith and devotion, in the Regina Caeli, the prayer that substitutes the Angelus during the Easter tide. 

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For reflections delivered on Easter Monday

 by Pope Benedict XVI,
please scroll down to the bottom of this page.

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