Resurrection "a Meeting That Changes Life," Says Preacher

Pope Continues Annual Retreat at Vatican

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 3, 2004 ( The resurrection of Jesus, a «meeting that changes life,» was the theme of the meditations offered by the preacher of the Spiritual Exercises in which John Paul II is participating.

Monsignor Bruno Forte, president of the School of Theology of Southern Italy, on Tuesday highlighted the resurrection of Christ as the «full revelation of the love of God,» realized through the effusion of the Spirit.

«At the beginning there was the experience of a meeting. Jesus appeared alive to the fearful fugitives of Good Friday; everything begins with this meeting,» the papal preacher said during his meditation in the Vatican’s Redemptoris Mater Chapel.

«Fear was followed by courage, and the fugitives became witnesses to the end of a life given for the one they betrayed in the hour of darkness,» said Monsignor Forte.

«Between Good Friday and the dawn of Easter there is an empty space in which something so important happened that it gave origin to Christianity in history,» the preacher explained before the Pope, cardinals, bishops and prelates who were listening to him.

«The announcement recorded in the New Testament confesses the meeting with the Risen One as an experience of grace,» he said.

«The resurrection is a Trinitarian event in which the Father infuses the Spirit on the Crucified One and resurrects him,» he explained.

One of the characteristics of Monsignor Forte’s meditations in these days is precisely that of «the contemplation of the presence of the persons of the Trinity in the mysteries of the life of Jesus.» The retreat ends Saturday.

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