Christ Still Conquers Sin With Love, Pope Says

Dedicates Audience to Reflect on Easter Triduum

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The paschal mystery is not just something from the past, but remains a current reality since Christ continues to overcome sin with love, Benedict XVI says.



The Pope said this today during the general audience in St. Peter's Square, attended by some 20,000 people. The Holy Father's address reflected on the Easter triduum, which begins Thursday.

Benedict XVI explained that "the paschal mystery, which the holy triduum allows us to relive, is not only a memory of a past reality. It is a current reality: Today, too, Christ overcomes sin and death with his love. Evil, in all of its forms, does not have the final word. The final triumph belongs to Christ, to truth, to love!"

The Pope began his reflection commenting on scenes from the Upper Room, drawing on the Gospel reading of today's Mass.

The Pontiff reflected on Judas' betrayal: "When the traitor exits the Upper Room, darkness penetrates his heart -- it is an internal night -- discouragement grows in the spirits of the other disciples -- they too go toward the night -- while the shadows of abandonment and hate grow darker around the Son of Man, who prepares himself for the consummation of his sacrifice on the cross.

"In the coming days, we will commemorate the supreme battle between Light and Darkness, between Life and Death."

Spiritual benefits

The Holy Father encouraged the faithful to "place ourselves within this context -- aware of our own 'night,' of our sins and responsibilities -- if we want to spiritually benefit again from the paschal mystery, if we want to bring light to our hearts, by way of this mystery, which is the center point of our faith."

After highlighting elements from Holy Thursday and Good Friday, Benedict XVI commented on the celebrations of Holy Saturday.

"In the Easter Vigil," he said, "the veil of sadness, which surrounds the Church during the death and burial of the Lord, will be torn in two by the victorious cry: Christ has risen and has overcome death forever! Then we can truly understand the mystery of the cross."

The Pope added: "We will experience that the Church is always alive, always renewing itself, always beautiful and holy, because its foundation is Christ, who, having risen, will never die again."