Having completed the grueling Easter weekend schedule, Pope Benedict XVI traveled on Sunday afternoon to Castel Gandolfo for a brief respite. On Monday at noon, the Pope prayed the Regina Caeli, and said that Easter proves to Christians that nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even death.
Before reciting the Regina Caeli, which replaces the Angelus during the Easter season, the Pope addressed those present at Castel Gandolfo and those in St. Peter's Square via an audio-video feed.
“Dear brothers and sisters,” the Holy Father began, “In these Easter days one often hears the words of Jesus: 'I have risen and am still with you.' Echoing this announcement, the Church exultantly proclaims: 'Yes, we are sure! The Lord is truly risen, alleluia! His glory and power are forever.'”
The victory of Easter, the Pope explained, makes Christ the “invisible head” of the people of God, who are “intended to grow over the centuries, until the fulfillment of the plan of salvation.” “Then, the entirety of humanity will be built on him, and every existing reality will be permeated with his total victory. Then, as St. Paul writes, he will be 'the perfect fulfillment of all things,' and 'God will be all in all.'”
“Therefore, the Christian community rejoices because the resurrection of the Lord assures us that the divine plan of salvation is fulfilled indeed,” Benedict XVI said.
Easter is really our hope, the Pope said, because through our Baptism in Christ we are raised from the death of our sins and are able to “walk without stopping to Easter eternal.” And in this journey, we are not left alone, he emphasized, we are “supported by an awareness that the difficulties, struggles, trials and suffering of human existence, including death, are now no longer be able to separate us from him and his love.”
Jesus told us, “I have risen and am still with you,” and this is true in the Eucharist, Pope Benedict reminded his audience. “In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the risen Lord purifies us from our sins; spiritually nourishes us and strongly supports us in the trials of life and in fighting against sin and evil.”
As he concluded his reflection before praying the Regina Caeli, the Pope turned to Mary and asked her to intercede for the faithful, that they are able to accept in faith the gift of Easter and become faithful and joyful witnesses of the risen Lord.