By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis addressed the faithful in St. Peter’s Square for the recitation of the Regina CoeliPrayer with a reflection on the Gospel of the day.
He recalled how on the second Sunday of Easter the Pope appeared to the Apostles who had plunged into bewilderment and fear after the capture and death sentence of their Master, revealing that he brought peace as a fruit of his victory over evil.
‘Peace be with you’
“The Risen One brings authentic peace, because through his sacrifice on the cross he has achieved reconciliation between God and humanity and has overcome sin and death”, the Pope said.
He recalled how the apostle Thomas, who had not witnessed first-hand the extraordinary event of the Lord’s appearance in the Upper Room, needed Jesus to come forward to dispel his disbelief, inviting him to touch his wounds.
“Those wounds represent the source of peace, because they are the sign of the immense love of Jesus who defeated the forces that are hostile to man: sin, evil and death”, he said.
The gift of joy
The second gift that the risen Jesus brings to his disciples, Pope Francis said, is joy.
The evangelist, he explained, tells us that “the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord”.
And reiterating that the Easter season is a time of joy, the Pope said “Jesus’ resurrection is the greatest reason for our joy” as he has destroyed the obstacles and negative forces of the world which prevent us from being truly joyful.
In addition to peace and joy, Pope Francis continued, Jesus also brings mission to his disciples.
He says to them “As the Father has sent me, I send you” putting into motion a new dynamism of love which, the Pope said, is capable of transforming the world with the power of the Holy Spirit.
This love, he said, is spread through the Apostles and their successors, but also through all the faithful.
The Risen Jesus, Francis explained, entrusts every Christian with the task of announcing the wonderful event of his Resurrection.
“Every baptized person is called to transmit the divine gifts of peace and joy, thus continuing Jesus' saving mission in the world, each according to his or her own vocation”.
On this second Sunday of Easter, he concluded, we are invited to approach Christ with faith, opening our hearts to peace, joy and mission, which is the proclamation of divine mercy, the joyful witness of his transforming and redeeming love.