Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
"Love Is Stronger Than Hate, It Has Triumphed"
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 22, 2008 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the greetings Benedict XVI gave today to students participating in the international UNIV congress who had gathered at St. Peter's Basilica, and the catechesis he gave afterward during his weekly general audience in Paul VI Hall.
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[Pope's greeting to students in St. Peter's Basilica]
[In English, he said]
I offer a cordial welcome to all of you who have come to Rome from various countries and universities to celebrate Holy Week together, and to take part in the International UNIV Congress. In this way, you will be able to benefit from moments of common prayer, cultural enrichment and a helpful exchange of the experiences gained from your association with the centres and activities of Christian formation sponsored by the Prelature of Opus Dei in your respective cities and nations.
[In Spanish, he said]
You know that with a serious personal commitment, inspired by the Gospel values, it is possible to respond adequately to the great questions of our time.
The Christian knows that there is an inseparable link between the truth, ethics and responsibility. Every authentic cultural expression contributes to form the conscience and encourage the person to better himself with the end of bettering society. In this way one feels responsible before the truth, at the service of which one must put one's own personal liberty.
This certainly has to do with a mission requiring commitment, and to fulfill it the Christian is called to follow Jesus, cultivating an intense friendship with him through prayer and contemplation.
To be friends of Christ, and to give testimony of him wherever we are, demands, furthermore, the strength to go against the grain, remembering the words of the Lord: You are in the world but not of the world (cf. John 15:19)
Do not be afraid, then, to be nonconformists when it is necessary; at your university, school and in all places.
[In Italian, he said]
Dear young people of UNIV, be leaven of hope in the world that desires to meet Jesus, often without knowing it. To better the world, make an effort above all to change yourselves through an intense sacramental life, especially through approaching the sacrament of penance, and participating assiduously in the celebration of the Eucharist.
I commend each one of you and your families to Mary, who never stopped contemplating the face of her son Jesus. I invoke over each one of you the protection of Saint Josemarķa and of all the saints of your lands, while I heartily wish you a happy Easter.
[Catechesis in Paul VI Hall]
Dear brothers and sisters
We have reached the eve of the Easter triduum. The next three days are commonly known as 'holy' because they allow us to relive the event central to our Redemption. They lead us to the nucleus of Christian faith: the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These three days could be considered one single day. They make up the heart and are the key to both the liturgical year and the life of the Church. At the end of Lent we also enter that climate which Christ himself experienced back then in Jerusalem.
We want to rekindle in ourselves the living memory of the suffering which our Lord endured for us and to joyously prepare ourselves for next Sunday "the true Passover, which the Blood of Christ has covered with glory, the Passover on which the Church celebrates the Feast that is the origin of all feasts as stated in the preface for Easter in the Ambrosian rite.
Tomorrow, Holy Thursday, the Church remembers the Last Supper during which our Lord, on the eve of his own passion and death, institutes the sacrament of the Eucharist and that of ministerial priesthood. On that same evening, Jesus gave us a new commandment, "mandatum novum," the commandment of brotherly love.
Tomorrow morning, before entering the Easter triduum, but very closely tied to it, the "Messa Crismale" will take place in every diocese during which the bishop and priests of the diocese renew their promises made at ordination.
Also, the oils used to celebrate the sacraments are blessed: the oil for the catechumen, the oil for the sick and the holy chrism. It is one of the most important moments in the life of every Christian diocese, which, gathered around it's pastor, strengthens it's unity and faith in Christ, the supreme and eternal priest.
In the evening during the "Cena Domini" Mass, we remember the Last Supper when Christ gave himself to all of us as the food of salvation, as the drug of immortality and the mystery of the Eucharist -- source and pinnacle of Christian life.
Through this sacrament of salvation the Lord offered and realized for all those who ...
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