Vatican

Pope returns to St. Peter's Square

"Look, touch and eat". These three words, taken from today's Gospel passage, served as a guiding thread for Pope Francis as he prayed the Regina Coeli from St. Peter's Square.

David Fernández Alonso-April 18, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes
Pope St. Peter's window

Photo: ©2021 Catholic News Service / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Pope Francis is once again leaning out of the window of the Apostolic Palace to pray the Regina Coeli prayer before the faithful of St. Peter's. It is always a great joy to see the Holy Father in person, leaning out of that window, from where he himself can also see the people who have come to the Colonnata to listen to him.

In fact, at the end of the meeting, Francis himself expressed his joy and made reference to the flags and the faithful gathered there. "It is necessary for me to meet them and see them, it is not the same to do it from the Library".

Christ appears again

"On this Third Sunday of Easter," Francis began, "we return to Jerusalem, to the Upper Room, as if guided by the two disciples of Emmaus, who had listened with great emotion to the words of Jesus on the road and then recognized him 'in the breaking of the bread'" (Lc 24, 35). Now, in the Upper Room, the risen Christ appears in the midst of the group of disciples and greets them, saying, "Peace be with you" (v. 36). But they were frightened and thought they "saw a spirit" (v. 37). Then Jesus shows them the wounds of his body and says, "Look at my hands and my feet; it is I myself. Feel me" (v. 39). And to convince them, he asks them for food and eats it before their astonished gaze".

The Pope underlined the three actions spoken of in this passage: "This Gospel passage is characterized by three very concrete verbs, which in a certain sense reflect our personal and community life: seetouch eat. Three actions that can give the joy of a true encounter with the living Jesus".

See

"'Behold my hands and my feet' - Jesus says. See is not only to see, it is more, it also implies intention, will. That is why it is one of the verbs of love. The mother and father look at their child, lovers look at each other; the good doctor looks attentively at the patient... To look is a first step against indifference, against the temptation to turn away from the difficulties and sufferings of others".

Play

"The second verb is touch. By inviting the disciples to touch him, so that they can see that he is not a spirit, Jesus indicates to them and to us that our relationship with him and with our brothers and sisters cannot be "at a distance", at the level of the gaze. Love demands closeness, contact, sharing of life. The Good Samaritan not only looked at the man he found half dead on the road: he bent down, healed his wounds, put him on his saddle and took him to the inn. And so it is with Jesus: loving him means entering into a vital and concrete communion with him".

Eat

"And we move on to the third verb, eatIt expresses well our humanity in its most natural indigence, that is to say, our need to nourish ourselves in order to live. But eating, when we eat together, in family or with friends, also becomes an expression of love, of communion, of celebration... How many times do the Gospels show us Jesus living this convivial dimension! Even as the Risen One, with his disciples. So much so that the Eucharistic banquet has become the emblematic sign of the Christian community".

The Pope concluded by affirming that "this Gospel passage tells us that Jesus is not a "spirit" but a living Person. To be Christian is not above all a doctrine or a moral ideal, it is a living relationship with him, with the Risen Lord: we look at him, we touch him, we are nourished by him and, transformed by his love, we look at, touch and nourish others as brothers and sisters. May the Virgin Mary help us to live this experience of grace".

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