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Monday, April 11, 2011

ANGELUS: CHRIST BREAKS DOWN THE WALL OF DEATH

VATICAN CITY, 10 APR 2011 (VIS) - At midday today, before praying the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI remarked on the readings of today's Mass, dedicated to the Resurrection, "not yet that of Jesus Christ, which breaks through as something entirely new, but that of our own resurrection, to which we aspire and which Christ Himself gave us, rising from the dead", said the Pope.

  "In fact", the Holy Father continued, "death represents for us a wall we are unable to see over; even though our hearts reach out beyond, and even though we cannot know what it hides ... we imagine it, expressing our desire for eternity through symbols". However, "even among Christians, faith in the resurrection and in eternal life is often accompanied by many doubts and great confusion, as it concerns a reality beyond the limits of reason and requires an act of faith".

  "In today's Gospel, the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus says to Martha, the dead Lazarus' sister, 'Your brother will rise again', and she answers, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day'. Jesus replies, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die'. This is the real truth, which breaks through and overcomes every barrier!" exclaimed the Pope. "Christ breaks down the wall of death, and in Him there resides the fullness of God, which is life, eternal life. Therefore death had no power over Him; the resurrection of Lazarus is a sign of his full dominion over mortal death, which is like sleep before God".

  "But there is another death, against which Christ fought hard; and for which he paid on the cross: spiritual death, sin, which threatens to ruin the existence of every man. To defeat this death, Christ died, and his Resurrection was not a return to his previous life but the beginning of a new life, a 'new earth', finally reunited with God's heaven", the Pope concluded.

  After the Angelus prayer, Benedict XVI addressed the Polish pilgrims who today commemorate the anniversary on of the Smolensk air crash on April 10 last year, in which the president of Poland Lech Kazinsky and several other officials lost their lives while travelling to Katyn to pay homage to the Polish soldiers and civilians massacred in the area by the Soviet army during the Second World War. "I join you in your nation's prayer", the Pope said, "that Christ, who is our new life and resurrection, receive them in His glory and that he comfort you in this painful experience. I bless your country and the Polish people with all my heart".
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