Reflecting on the Easter episode of the women at the tomb, the Pope drew attention to what the angel told them. “Wonder at hearing the words: ‘Do not be afraid!” the Pope said. “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen’. And a message: ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him’.”
In the hour of darkness when humanity is grappling with the pandemic and other ills, Christians need to take to heart the Easter message of the angel not to be afraid, assured that in Galilee where the Lord precedes them, their expectations will be fulfilled, their tears will be dried and their fears will be replaced by hope. Pope Francis made the point in his homily at the Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica Saturday night.
After the initial rite of the blessing of the fire and the Paschal candle inside the basilica, Pope Francis and the concelebrants proceeded towards the altar of the chair, with a deacon bearing the lit Easter candle. During the procession in the darkened church, the flame of the candle was first passed on to the Pope and then gradually to the concelebrants and the limited number of faithful. After the Pope walked up the main aisle, the basilica’s lights were switched on.