Pope Francis said on Easter Monday that the resurrection of Jesus is not just a “happy ending” but is an event that “changes our lives completely and forever.”

“Jesus broke through the darkness of the tomb and lives forever. … With him, every day becomes a step in an eternal journey, every today can hope for a tomorrow, every end a new beginning, every instant is projected beyond the limits of time, toward eternity,” the pope said on April 1.

“Brothers, sisters, the joy of the Resurrection is not something far away. It is very close; it is ours because it was given to us on the day of our baptism.”

Pope Francis addressed a crowd of people in St. Peter’s Square from a window of the Apostolic Palace for Easter Monday, also known as Monday of the Angel.

Following his brief message, he recited the Regina Caeli, a Latin antiphon honoring the Virgin Mary that is prayed during the Easter season. From Easter Sunday to Pentecost, Pope Francis will pray the Regina Caeli instead of the Angelus on Sundays.

In his address, the pope offered advice for how to “fuel the joy” of Christ’s resurrection during the Easter season, which in the Catholic Church lasts for a total of 50 days, from Easter Sunday until the feast of Pentecost.

Pope Francis said that the joy of Easter can be nurtured by “encountering the Risen One” in the Eucharist, in the confessional, in prayer, and in charity.

“He is the source of a joy that never ceases. So, let us hasten to seek him,” the pope said.

“Joy, when it is shared, grows. Let us share the joy of the Risen One,” he added.

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The pope pointed to how in the Church’s readings for the Monday of the Easter Octave, the Gospel of Matthew describes the joy of the women at the resurrection of Jesus.

“The text says they abandoned the tomb with ‘great joy’ and ran to tell his disciples” (Mt 28:8). This joy, which is born precisely from the living encounter with the Risen One, is a powerful emotion, which impels them to spread and to tell what they have seen,” he said.

“Sharing joy is a wondrous experience, which we learn from a very young age: Think of a child who gets a good mark at school and cannot wait to show his or her parents, or a young person who achieves their first success in sport, or a family in which a child is born. Let us try to remember, each of us, a moment so happy that it was even difficult to put it into words, but which we wished to tell everyone about immediately.”

“And May the Virgin Mary, who at Easter rejoiced in her risen Son, help us to be joyful witnesses,” he added.

After the Regina Caeli, the pope wished everyone a happy Monday of the Angel and a happy Octave of Easter. 

“May the joy of Easter continue!” Pope Francis said.