Good Friday, the pope explained, is a day of penance, fasting, and prayer.
“Through the texts of Sacred Scripture and liturgical prayers, we will be gathered on Calvary to commemorate the Passion and redemptive Death of Jesus Christ. In the intensity of the rite of liturgical action, we will be presented with the Crucifix to adore,” he said.
“Holy Saturday is the day of silence,” Pope Francis noted. “There is a great silence over the earth; a silence lived in tears and bewilderment by the first disciples, upset by the ignominious death of Jesus.”
“This Saturday is also Mary’s day. She too lived it in tears, but her heart was full of faith, full of hope, full of love. The Mother of Jesus had followed her Son along the Via Dolorosa and remained at the foot of the cross with her soul pierced,” he said.
“But when everything seemed to be over, she kept watch. She watches in anticipation, keeping hope in the promise of God who raises the dead. Thus, in the darkest hour of the world, she became the Mother of believers, the Mother of the Church, and a sign of hope. Her testimony and her intercession support us when the weight of the cross becomes too heavy for each of us.”
From this darkness on Holy Saturday, the light will break out through the liturgy of the Easter Vigil as the faithful sing Alleluia, the pope said.
“It will be an encounter in faith with the risen Christ and the Easter joy will last for all the 50 days that will follow, until the coming of the Holy Spirit. He who was crucified is risen! All questions and uncertainties, hesitations and fears are dispelled by this revelation.”
“The Risen One gives us the certainty that good always triumphs over evil, that life always overcomes death and our end is not to descend lower and lower, from sadness to sadness, but to rise above.”
Pope Francis prayed that the joy of Easter morning would restore hope, trust, and peace amid the difficulties the world currently faces during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Dear brothers and sisters, this year too we will experience the Easter celebrations in the context of the pandemic. In many situations of suffering, especially when people, families, and populations already tried by poverty, calamity or conflict suffer them, the Cross of Christ is like a beacon that indicates the port to ships still offshore in the stormy sea,” he said.
“Christ’s Cross is a sign of the hope that does not disappoint; and it tells us that not even one tear, not one sigh is lost in God’s plan.”
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