Like Mary Magdalene, Peter and John, we too have come to the tomb of Jesus to contemplate the mystery of the resurrection!
This year, because of a coincidence in the Julian and in the Gregorian Calendar, Easter fell on the same day for the Churches of the East and the West ... In the Holy Sepulcher, the resurrection of the Lord was celebrated simultaneously in the different rites.
During Easter Mass, the apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Mons. Pierbattista Pizzaballa posed a question:
In fact, he tells us that our mind can not comprehend or explain the mystery, not only of the sight of the empty tomb ...but also of such experience.
The archbishop mentioned the death threats that surround us, referring to Syria, Iraq and Yemen and the attack against Coptic Christians that took place a week ago in Egypt.
At the end of mass, following the Tradition and to indicate the announcement of the Resurrection to the whole world, the reading of the four Gospels of the resurrection took place around the shrine of the Holy Sepulcher.
And here, the Easter Vigil, unlike the rest of the world, took place on Saturday morning. As stated by Mons. Pizzaballa:
Arley Humberto da Silva Santos
Children of Mary Community
"Time passes and centuries pass, too, but the tomb is still empty and the experience of faith of being here with Christians from around the world, celebrating Easter, means that we can approach the mystery of Christ who has triumphed over death for each of us".
Vinícius Gusmão Ribeiro
Children of Mary Community
"Today we played the role of Mary Magdalene who comes and finds the tomb empty; this, for us Christians, has a strong meaning ... it is very nice to see everyone united in one language, in our Church, in spite of the many different languages ... our Church is united and always alive! "
The celebration is rich in symbolism. The Paschal Candle and the fire are signs of God's presence!
The water represents purification and the desire of the Lord to forget our sins and make new creatures of us.
The bells chime singing 'Gloria'! Jesus is risen! The tomb is empty indeed!
During this celebration, the reading of the nine biblical passages that help us be identified with the whole history of salvation, took place.
In this story, which begins with the Creation of the World, as Mons. Pizzaballa said in his homily, we find the answers to our most authentic questions ... and the only answer is a new life. Death loses all its power in Christ.
Mons. Pierbattista Pizzaballa
Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
"My Easter wish is for all of us to let God's love embrace us and to be witnesses wherever we are ... Though there are shadows of death, we are witnesses that life will always be victorious."