Archbishop’s homily at the Easter Vigil
“Immediately the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs were opened … The centurion and the men who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that was happening, were terrified and said, Truly this was the Son of God. ” (Matthew 27: 51-54). So with an earthquake and a spectacular upheaval of earth and sky ends the life of Jesus. He, “and again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost” (Matt. 27:50). Then the temporary burial because time was pressing, after the silence of Saturday … silence that penetrates body and soul, which is inserted through the slits painful heart.
Now “last Saturday” another earthquake finds Mary Magdalene and the other Mary Road Sepulchre, “suddenly there was a great earthquake: The Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled away the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. Seeing him, the guards shook with fear and became like dead “(Mt 28: 1-4).
Two earthquakes, two shocks of the earth, the sky and the heart. Much fear and uncertainty. The first earthquake had some death cry, the cry of hell victorious triumphant in a spasm of props. Was the shy confession of faith of the soldiers, the pain of those who loved Jesus and a warm hope … a sort of embers hidden in the depths of the soul. Rescoldo feeding patience and loving gesture to return to the grave “last Saturday” to anoint the Lord’s body. And here, the second earthquake. Movement scary but triumphant gesture. Women are scared and the Angel says a keyword of the Gospel: Do not be afraid, do not be afraid.
“Be not afraid” the angel had told Mary at the Announcement of the Incarnation of the Word. “No fear”, fear not repeated them many times Jesus to the disciples. It opens word space in the soul. It gives security word engenders hope. And immediately Jesus repeats to meet them near the sepulcher: “Fear not” me.
With a “not afraid” Jesus destroys the intrigue of the first earthquake. This was a cry of triumphalism born of pride. The “not afraid” of Jesus, however, is the announcement of gentle triumph, that is transmitted from voice to voice, from faith to faith through the centuries. And, during that day, “not afraid” is the greeting of the Risen Lord whenever he was with his disciples. So, with that soft and energetic greeting fare restoring faith in the promise, the comforting going. In the “not afraid” of Jesus as prophesied by Isaiah meets: “Yes, the Lord comforts Zion, comforted all her waste: Makes wilderness like Eden, and steppe, a garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and sound of songs “(51:3). The Risen Lord comforted and strengthened.
Today, on this night of triumph truly gentle and serene, the Lord will say to us, to all the faithful: “Be not afraid”, I’m here. I was dead and now I live. I been repeating for twenty centuries in every moment of earthquake triumphalist when, in his Church, his passion is repeated, is “complete” what is lacking in the Passion. It says in the silence of every heart aching, anxious, confused, it says in the historical circumstances of confusion when the power of evil takes over peoples and build structures of sin. It says in the sands of all arenas history. He means every human wound … It says so in every personal and historical death. Fear not, I am. I’m here. We about his ultimate triumph whenever the intended death claim victory.
In tonight Santa wants everyone did silence in our hearts and in the midst of earthquakes personal, cultural, social, in the midst of these earthquakes produced by the machinery of self-sufficiency and arrogance, pride and arrogance in the midst of earthquakes of the sin of each of us, in the midst of all this encourage us to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus, who was dead and is alive, telling us: “Do not be afraid. It’s me. ” And, accompanied by our Mother, the tenderness and strength, let us comfort, strengthen and cherish the soul Achiever for that voice that, smiling and with meekness, we tirelessly repeat: Do not be afraid, I am.
Buenos Aires, May 26, 2005.
Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J.