VATICAN CITY, APRIL 8, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The resurrection of Christ overcame not only death, but also the solitude that every person experiences, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope made these comments during the three-hour Easter Vigil Mass held Saturday night in St. Peter’s Basilica, which was filled to capacity.
During the vigil, the Holy Father administered the sacraments of baptism and confirmation to six catechumens from four countries: China, Japan, Cuba and Cameroon. He also baptized two Chinese children.
In his homily, Benedict XVI said that the Church could consider that on Easter, Christ says to each one of the faithful: “I arose and now I am still with you.
“My hand upholds you. Wherever you may fall, you will always fall into my hands.
“I am present even at the door of death. Where no one can accompany you further, and where you can bring nothing, even there I am waiting for you, and for you I will change darkness into light.”
To the candidates for baptism, the Holy Father said that what is new about the sacrament is that “our life now belongs to Christ, and no longer to ourselves.”
“As a result,” he said, “we are never alone, even in death, but are always with the one who lives forever.”
Benedict XVI said that the joy of the Easter vigil is that “we are free.”
The Pope continued: “In the resurrection of Jesus, love has been shown to be stronger than death, stronger than evil.
“Love made Christ descend, and love is also the power by which he ascends. The power by which he brings us with him.
“In union with his love, borne aloft on the wings of love, as persons of love, let us descend with him into the world’s darkness, knowing that in this way we will also rise up with him.”
The Holy Father encouraged the faithful to ask the Lord to “show us that love is stronger than hatred, that love is stronger than death.”
“Descend into the darkness and the abyss of our modern age,” continued Benedict XVI’s prayer, “and take by the hand those who await you. Bring them to the light!”
The Holy Father added: “In my own dark nights, be with me to bring me forth! Help me, help all of us, to descend with you into the darkness of all those people who are still waiting for you, who out of the depths cry unto you!
“Help us to bring them your light! Help us to say the “yes” of love, the love that makes us descend with you and, in so doing, also to rise with you.”