Rocca di Papa, 16 April 1992
Easter, the celebration of the Risen One. At the heart of every Christian’s life.
Journalist: What is Easter for you?
Chiara: Easter in my life... For one thing, Easter for me is the celebration of Resurrection, it's the celebration of the Risen One. The Risen One, for me but I think also objectively, is the greatest manifestation of God's love for us human beings.
A few days ago a very good man, even if he's from another culture, different from my own and perhaps also a non-believer, told me: “Don't you think that the problem of all problems in humanity, the fear beneath all fears, is that of death, the thought of death, the reality of death?”
I think it's precisely so. Jesus also knew this. This is why coming on earth he died to save us all but he also rose from the dead, he conquered death. He saw to it that we also would rise, that we would also overcome death. In this way, I’d say that he solved the fundamental problem of humanity.
This is the Risen One for me. But then the Risen One..., well, the Risen One ascended into heaven, he went to the right hand side of the Father in the glory of God and he went there to prepare a place for us. This is also immense love, an immense manifestation of love, because there is a whole future ahead, the Paradise that awaits us.
From there he also sent the Holy Spirit to us on this earth. Because He said: “I will be with you always until the end of time,” which means he did not want to only remain in heaven, but remain also here on earth. And he remained precisely in the Church; with the Pentecost event, the Church went out in public. Because the Church is truly his continuation, it's the presence of the Risen One here on earth. The Risen One is like this for me.
In fact we, if we understand things a little according to our faith, we are enveloped by the presence of the Risen One. He is in the Eucharist, He is in his Word; if I live his Word the Risen One lives in me; He is in the Pope, in the Bishops..., we should know how to discover him; He is within us if we are in the grace of God; He is in our midst; He is in the poor. And we are truly enveloped by God's love.
Naturally here on earth we can see very little, only with the eyes of faith.
But there are the saints, for example, and also all the authentic Christians who have a certain experience: a joy that the world knows no other origin, a peace like this too and they also know of a light that comes right from the Risen One, from the spirit of the Risen One which then is the Holy Spirit.
Journalist: What does Easter mean for Christians who try to live this Paschal dimension?
Chiara: I think it could mean all that I have said too.
Naturally Easter is not only a contemplation of the Risen One, therefore for Christians it's also a renewed commitment and that is a commitment to welcome this great love that the Risen One pours out on humanity. How? By loving, which is the centre of Christianity; loving God and through him our brothers and sisters, all our brothers and sisters; because by loving we live our new self, as St. Paul said and this is the Risen One in us. And by loving among ourselves, because Jesus said it: “Where two or three are united in my name – namely in Him – there am I in the midst of them,” and He is there, the Risen One in our midst. Then we must love everyone, this is what perhaps the Christians feel, that they must love everyone in order to fulfil that universal brotherhood that He brought and generated, that he brought here on earth and he generated. In this way the world may become better, more in peace and more united.
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