By editor - 27 March, 2016
Pope Francis baptised 12 catechumens from Italy, Albania, Cameroon, Korea, India and China during the Easter vigil ceremony at St Peter's Basilica.
“Let us break open our sealed tombs to the Lord so that he may enter and grant us life,” Pope Francis appealed on Saturday evening as he presided at the Easter Vigil in St Peter’s Basilica.
The Pope baptised 12 catechumens from Italy, Albania, Cameroon, Korea, India and China during the ceremony.
In his homily, he urged people to give up to the Lord the stones of their rancour and the boulders of their past, “those heavy burdens of our weaknesses and falls”.
“Christ wants to come and take us by the hand to bring us out of our anguish. This is the first stone to be moved aside this night: the lack of hope which imprisons us within ourselves,” he said.
He prayed that the Lord would free all from being Christians without hope, who live as if the Lord were not risen, as if their problems were the centre of their lives.
In his homily, the Pope reflected on the actions of Peter who ran to Jesus’ tomb on the first Easter morning.
Even though he, like the other disciples, had not believed the testimony of the women who had already found the empty grave, the Pope noted that Peter was not overwhelmed by doubt or consumed by remorse.
Like the women who had gone to bury the body, the Pope said, Peter did not give into sadness and darkness but allowed the light of God to enter his heart.
Pope Francis said Christian hope is not mere optimism or a desire to be courageous.
The Spirit, he said, does not remove evil with a magic wand. Rather, He pours into us, “the vitality of life and the knowledge that Christ has conquered fear, sin and death, compelling us to set out and announce this Easter message to others.”
The Lord is alive and wants to be sought among the living the Pontiff encouraged.
After having found him, each person is sent out by him to announce the Easter message, to awaken and resurrect hope in hearts burdened by sadness, in those who struggle to find meaning in life, he said.
As joyful servants of hope, we must announce the Risen One by our lives and by our love; otherwise we will be only an international organisation full of followers and good rules, yet incapable of offering the hope for which the world longs, the Pope stated.