Justice an Easter Duty, Says Vatican Aide

Father Lombardi Analyzes Pope's Paschal Message

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The obligation of a Christian to work for justice is a consequence of Christ's resurrection, affirmed Father Federico Lombardi.



The director of the Vatican press office said this when he analyzed Benedict XVI's Easter message during Vatican Television's latest edition of "Octava Dies."

Father Lombardi recalled how in that message, the Pope urged "fixing the gaze of the soul on the 'glorious wounds,' that the risen one carries on his glorified body," so that in this way, "we can understand the meaning and the value of suffering, we can relieve the many wounds that continue bloodying humanity, in our times as well."

The Vatican spokesman said that the passion of Christ is not something that should be forgotten when Easter arrives, but rather an event that should accompany us, allowing our lives to be "fully guided by love and hope."

Father Lombardi noted that the Holy Father paused in his message before the "wounds of humanity, open and painful in all of the corners of the planet, though sometimes ignored and intentionally hidden; wounds that tear up the soul and body of countless of our brothers and sisters."

The spokesman continued: "Recall that the relationship among persons, groups and populations is marked by egotism, hate and violence, that the dignity of the human person is often 'denigrated and vulnerable.'

"To know that the Risen One is with us and to gaze on his glorious wounds thus means to commit oneself actively in favor of justice, to pour out luminous signs of hope. To multiply the testimonies of meekness and forgiveness. To walk along the path of solidarity and peace."

"The risen Jesus sends his disciples all over as witnesses of hope and assures them, 'I will be with you always,'" Father Lombardi noted. "On Easter Monday, the Pope recalled the Christian martyrs of last year and, in the following days, would visit on the Tiber Island the memorial to Christian martyrs of the past century -- people who fixed their gaze, with faith, on the glorious wounds of Christ.

"And who accompany us, them as well, through a difficult but illuminated history, precisely through hope."