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Pope reflects on the joy of encountering Christ, appeals for priest’s release

April 11, 2016

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Jn. 21:1-19), Pope Francis said during his April 10 Regina Coeli address that St. Peter’s recognition of the Lord is “full of joy and wonder, in stark contrast with the confusion, the desperation, the sense of impotence that had afflicted the spirit of the disciples.”

“The presence of the Risen Jesus transforms everything: darkness is overcome by light; useless work becomes again fruitful and promising; the feeling of tiredness and abandonment gives way to a new strength and the certainty that he is with us,” the Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

He added:

The great proclamation of the Resurrection instills in the hearts of believers an intimate joy and an invincible hope. Christ has truly risen!

Today, too, the Church continues to make this joyous proclamation resound: joy and hope will continue flowing in hearts, upon faces, in gestures, in words. All of us Christians are called to communicate this message of resurrection to those whom we meet, especially to the one who is suffering, to the one who is alone, to the one who finds himself in precarious situations, to the sick, the refugees, the marginalized.

Following the recitation of the Regina Coeli, the Pope appealed for the release of Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped in Yemen on March 4.

“In the hope that the Risen Christ gives us, I renew my call for the liberation of all people held hostage in zones of armed conflict,” the Pope said. “In particular, I want to recall the Salesian priest Tom Uzhunnalil, kidnapped in Aden.”


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