Dear consecrated brothers and sisters,
We now find ourselves in Holy Week, the climax of a Lent that the Lord has had us live in a very special way this year.
And it is precisely in this very special way that we are about to spend the most solemn days of the liturgical year, the Easter Triduum, remembering the principal events of our faith.
Most of you, for the first time, will participate in the celebrations through modern means of communication giving us the opportunity to live them in a profound communion of life and prayer.
A deep felt communion marked by suffering, but with hope and trust, with the various communities that have been affected by the current illness, which has upset the lives of so many of us, requiring daily changes, sacrifices and renunciations.
We are especially close to you who are trying to cope with these difficulties and who, in spite of everything, continue to assist the sick in clinics, the aged in homes for the elderly, the homeless, without neglecting the sick in your own communities.
We are close to you, Chaplains of health care facilities who, despite dangers, do your best, even going beyond your own physical strength! Thank you for the beautiful witness you offer to us, to the Church and to the world. We are certain that the Lord will bring forth from this difficult trial an abundant harvest of graces and blessings and, we hope with all our heart, that vocations will arise which will continue in today’s world, the charisms risen up by the Holy Spirit in our Church.
The shining example of love for the Lord, reflected in intense service to our brothers and sisters, as seen during these days, is the most beautiful witness of that Sequela Christi which we chose one day as the ideal of our life. Thank you for who you are, for what you do and for the example given to all of us.
On Holy Thursday we thank the Lord with greater zeal for the gift of the ministerial priesthood, for the gift of the new commandment of mutual Love and for the Eucharist which gives us the strength to put this commandment into practice.
On Good Friday we virtually embrace and kiss the Crucifix, recognizing it in our brothers and sisters who are suffering and dying, but with openness to the great Vigil of Holy Saturday which, even in times of great suffering, undoubtedly leads us to the celebration of the Resurrection, when with the whole Church we will sing Alleluia, together with Mary, a sign of consolation and sure hope.
Take courage, dearest sisters and brothers, let us persevere in unceasing prayer with our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and with all men and women of good will, to grasp from God’s mercy the grace we all await. The Lord will not delay in granting it to us bringing back joy and celebration to our hearts!
Happy Easter to all of you!