VATICAN CITY, MARCH 27, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the message John Paul II wrote for this Easter, which was read on his behalf by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, at the end of Easter Sunday Mass. The Mass was celebrated in St. Peter’s Square.
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1. “Mane nobiscum, Domine!” Stay with us, Lord! (cf. Luke 24:29). With these words, the disciples on the road to Emmaus invited the mysterious Wayfarer to stay with them, as the sun was setting on that first day of the week when the incredible had occurred. According to his promise, Christ had risen; but they did not yet know this. Nevertheless, the words spoken by the Wayfarer along the road made their hearts burn within them. So they said to him: “Stay with us.” Seated around the supper table, they recognized him in the “breaking of bread” — and suddenly he vanished. There remained in front of them the broken bread. There echoed in their hearts the gentle sound of his words.
2. Dear brothers and sisters, the Word and the Bread of the Eucharist, the mystery and the gift of Easter, remain down the centuries as a constant memorial of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ! On this Easter Day, together with all Christians throughout the world, we too repeat those words: Jesus, crucified and risen, stay with us! Stay with us, faithful friend and sure support for humanity on its journey through history! Living Word of the Father, give hope and trust to all who are searching for the true meaning of their lives. Bread of eternal life, nourish those who hunger for truth, freedom, justice and peace.
3. Stay with us, Living Word of the Father, and teach us words and deeds of peace: peace for our world consecrated by your blood and drenched in the blood of so many innocent victims: peace for the countries of the Middle East and Africa, where so much blood continues to be shed; peace for all of humanity, still threatened by fratricidal wars. Stay with us, Bread of eternal life, broken and distributed to those at table: give also to us the strength to show generous solidarity towards the multitudes who are even today suffering and dying from poverty and hunger, decimated by fatal epidemics or devastated by immense natural disasters. By the power of your Resurrection, may they too become sharers in new life.
4. We, the men and women of the third millennium, we too need you, Risen Lord! Stay with us now, and until the end of time. Grant that the material progress of peoples may never obscure the spiritual values which are the soul of their civilization. Sustain us, we pray, on our journey. In you do we believe, in you do we hope, for you alone have the words of eternal life (cf. John 6:68). “Mane nobiscum, Domine!” Alleluia!
[Original text: Italian]
[Translation issued by the Holy See]