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Santa Marta: Turn to Life – Not Money – After Pandemic

‘God always begins with women, always’

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“Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples.” (Matthew 28:8)

Those are the opening words of the Gospel for Easter Monday, the basis for the Holy Father’s homily today at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. The women made a decision to proclaim the resurrection, to share the truth, to put their faith in God.

“God always begins with women, always,” Pope Francis asserted. “They open ways. They don’t doubt: they know; they have seen Him; they have touched Him. They have also seen the empty sepulcher.

“It’s true that the disciples couldn’t believe it and said: ‘But these women, perhaps, are a little too imaginative’ . . . I don’t know; they had their doubts. However, they were sure and in the end, they pursued this path until today: Jesus is risen; He is alive among us (Cf. Matthew 28:9-10).”

The Holy Father continued by drawing a comparison to the decision the women made when confronted with the empty tomb and decisions coming in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The women proclaimed the truth. Others — the guards — accepted money to keep silent.

“Today also, in face of the coming — let’s hope it’s soon –the coming end of this pandemic, there is the same option: either our bet will be for life, for the resurrection of the peoples, or it will be for the god money: to return to the sepulcher of hunger, of slavery, of wars, of the arms factories, of children without education . . . the sepulcher is there.”

Text of the Pope’s Homily According to the Transcription of “Vatican News”

Today’s Gospel presents an everyday option to us, a human option that holds from that day: the option between joy, the hope of Jesus’ Resurrection, and the nostalgia of the sepulcher.

The women go ahead to bring the proclamation (Cf. Matthew 28:8): God always begins with women, always. They open ways. They don’t doubt: they know; they have seen Him; they have touched Him. They have also seen the empty sepulcher. It’s true that the disciples couldn’t believe it and said: “But these women, perhaps, are a little too imaginative” . . . I don’t know; they had their doubts. However, they were sure and in the end, they pursued this path until today: Jesus is risen; He is alive among us (Cf. Matthew 28:9-10).

And then, there is the other option: it’s better not to live, with the empty sepulcher. This empty sepulcher will bring us many problems.  And the decision follows to conceal the fact. It’s the same as always: when we don’t serve God, the Lord, we serve the other god, money. We recall what Jesus said: there are two lords, the Lord God, and the lord money.  Both can’t be served. And to come out of this evidence, of this reality, the priests, the Doctors of the Law chose the other way, that which offered them money and they paid: they paid for silence (Cf. Matthew 28:12-13) — the silence of witnesses. Just after Jesus died, one of the guards confessed: “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39).

These poor things don’t understand, they are afraid for their life . . . and they went to the priests, to the Doctors of the Law. And they paid: they paid for their silence and this, dear brothers and sisters, isn’t a bribe: this is pure corruption, corruption in a pure state. If you don’t confess Jesus Christ the Lord, think why: where is the seal of your sepulcher; where is the corruption. It’s true that many people don’t confess Jesus because they don’t know Him, because we haven’t proclaimed Him coherently, and this is our fault. However, when this way is taken in the face of the evidence, it’s the devil’s way, the way of corruption.  You pay and are silent. Today also, in face of the coming — let’s hope it’s soon –the coming end of this pandemic, there is the same option: either our bet will be for life, for the resurrection of the peoples, or it will be for the god money: to return to the sepulcher of hunger, of slavery, of wars, of the arms factories, of children without education . . . the sepulcher is there.

May the Lord help us always — be it in our personal life be it in our social life — to choose the proclamation: the proclamation that is a horizon, that is open, always; that leads us to choose the good of the people, and never fall into the sepulcher of the god money.

The Pope ended the celebration with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, inviting the faithful to make a Spiritual Communion.

Here is the Prayer Recited by the Pope:

My Jesus, I believe You are really present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You in my soul. As I cannot receive You now sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As if you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself wholly to You. Never let me be separated from You.

 Before leaving the Chapel dedicated to the Holy Spirit, the ancient Marian antiphon “Regina Caeli,” sung in Eastertide, was intoned:

 

Regina caeli laetare, alleluia.

Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.

Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.

Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

 

(Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.

For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.

Has risen, as He said, alleluia.

Pray for us to God, alleluia.

 

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

 

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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