VATICAN CITY, APRIL 12, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Christians reliving the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus during the Easter triduum understand that evil does not have the last word, says Benedict XVI.
Addressing some 40,000 people gathered for the general audience in St. Peter’s Square today, the Pope spoke about the meaning of the triduum that begins on Holy Thursday and ends on Easter Sunday.
“In the mystery of the Crucified is brought about that turning of God against himself in order to raise man up and save him. This is love in its most radical form,” the Holy Father said, quoting from his encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est.”
“To be able to live a profitable celebration of Easter, the Church asks the faithful to draw near these days to the sacrament of penance, which is a kind of death and resurrection for each one of us,” Benedict XVI continued.
Confession, he explained, “offers us the possibility to begin our life again and this new beginning is realized in the joy of the Risen One and in the communion of forgiveness that it gives us.”
“Conscious that we are sinners, but trusting in divine mercy, let us allow ourselves to be reconciled by Christ to experience more intensely the joy that he communicates to us in his resurrection,” the Pope added.
“The forgiveness that Christ gives us in the sacrament of penance is source of interior and exterior peace and makes us apostles of peace in a world in which continue, unfortunately, divisions, sufferings, and the tragedies of hatred and violence, of inability to be reconciled to begin again with a sincere pardon,” the Bishop of Rome said.
However, the Pontiff added, Christians know that “evil does not have the last word, as he who triumphs is Christ crucified and risen and his victory is manifested with the force of merciful love.”
“His resurrection gives us this certainty: Despite all the darkness in the world, evil does not have the last word,” the Pope added. “Supported by this truth, we will be able to commit ourselves with greater courage and enthusiasm to make a more just world come into being.”
Benedict XVI will preside over the liturgical ceremonies of his first sacred triduum as Pope. The triduum begins on Holy Thursday morning with the Chrism Mass and ends with the Mass of the Resurrection and the blessing “urbi et orbi” [to the city of Rome and the world] on Easter Sunday.