Regina Coeli with Pope Francis. Photo: Vatican Media

Pope Francis Explains the Importance of Rereading Our History Together with Jesus

Address on the occasion of the Regina Coeli prayer on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 04.23.2023).- According to the Vatican Gendarmerie, some 30,000 people gathered in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday, April 2023, feast of Saint George and Pope Francis’ Name Day, to recite with the Holy Father the Regina Coeli  Marian prayer and to hear his address.

Here is the address in English, translated from the original Italian by the Holy See. 

* * *

On this third Sunday of Easter, the Gospel narrates the encounter of the Risen Jesus with the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Luke 24:13-35). These are two disciples who, resigned to the death of the Master, decide on the day of Passover to leave Jerusalem and to return home. Perhaps they were a little uneasy because they had heard the women coming from the sepulchre and saying that [they had found it empty and so . . . ] they go away. 

And while they are walking, sadly talking about what has happened, Jesus appears beside them, but they do not recognize Him. He asks them why they are so sad, and they say to Him: “But, are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” (v. 18). And Jesus replies: “What things?” (v. 19). And they tell him the entire story, and Jesus makes them tell Him the story. Then, while they are walking, He helps them reinterpret the facts in a different way, in the light of the prophecies, of the Word of God, of all that had been proclaimed to the people of Israel. To reread: that is what Jesus does with them, helping to reread. Let us dwell on this aspect.

Indeed, for us to it is important to reread our history together with Jesus: the story of our life, of a certain period, of our days, with its disappointments and hopes. Besides, we too, like those disciples, faced with what happens to us, can find ourselves lost in the face of these events, alone and uncertain, with many questions and worries, disappointments, many things. Today’s Gospel invites us to tell Jesus everything, sincerely, without being afraid of disturbing Him: He listens; without fear of saying the wrong thing, without shame at our struggle to understand. The Lord is happy whenever we open ourselves to Him; only in this way can He take us by the hand, accompany us and make our hearts burn again (cf. v. 32). We too, then, like the disciples of Emmaus, are called to spend time with Him so that, when evening comes, He will remain with us (cf. v. 29).

There is a good way of doing this, and today I would like to propose it to you: it consists of dedicating some time, every evening, to a brief examination of conscience. But, what happened today within me? That is the question. It is a matter of rereading the day with Jesus, rereading my day:  opening the heart to Him, bringing to Him people, choices, fears, falls and hopes, all the things that happened; to learn gradually to look at things with different eyes, with His eyes and not just our own. We can thus relive the experience of those two disciples. Before Christ’s love, even that which seems wearisome and unsuccessful can appear under another light: a difficult cross to embrace, the decision to forgive an offence, a missed opportunity for redress, the toil of work, the sincerity that comes at a price, and the trials of family life can appear to us in a new light, the light of the Crucified and Risen, who knows how to turn every fall into a step forward. But to do this, it is important to drop our defences: to leave time and space for Jesus, not to hide anything from Him, to bring Him our miseries, to let ourselves be wounded by His truth, to let our heart vibrate at the breath of His Word.

We can begin today, to dedicate this evening a moment of prayer during which we ask ourselves: how was my day? What were its joys, what were its sorrows, what were its mundanities, what happened? What were the pearls of the day, possibly hidden, to be thankful for? Was there a little love in what I did? And what are the falls, the sadness, the doubts and fears to bring to Jesus so that He can open new ways to me, to lift me up and encourage me? 

May Mary, wise Virgin, help us to recognize Jesus who walks with us and to reread- the word: re-read — every day of our life in front of Him.

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