The pope said: “Dear brothers and sisters, it is better to have an imperfect but humble faith that always returns to Jesus, than a strong but presumptuous faith that makes us proud and arrogant. Woe to those, woe to them!”
Pope Francis went on to highlight the fact that, after appearing to the apostles while Thomas was not present, he returns a second time.
“Jesus does not give up, he does not get tired of us, he is not afraid of our crises, our weaknesses. He always comes back: When the doors are closed, he comes back; when we are in doubt, he comes back; when, like Thomas, we need to encounter him and to touch him up close, he comes back,” the pope said.
“Jesus always comes back, he always knocks on the door, and he does not come back with powerful signs that would make us feel small and inadequate, even ashamed, but with his wounds; he comes back showing us his wounds, signs of his love that has espoused our frailties,” the pope said.
“Jesus is the Lord of ‘other chances’: He always gives us another one, always. So let us think about the last time — let’s try to remember a little — that, during a difficult moment or a period of crisis, we closed in on ourselves, barricading ourselves in our problems and shutting Jesus out of the house.
“And let us promise ourselves, the next time, in our fatigue, to seek Jesus, to return to him, to his forgiveness — he always forgives, always! — to return to those wounds that have healed us,” Pope Francis said.
“In this way,” the pope urged, “we will also become capable of compassion, of approaching the wounds of others without inflexibility and without prejudice.”
In comments after his reflections, Pope Francis noted that Sunday marked two months since the start of the war in Ukraine, which began with Russia’s invasion of the country on Feb. 24.
“Today various Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox, and several Latin communities, celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar. We celebrated it last Sunday, following the Gregorian calendar. I offer them my warmest wishes: Christ is risen, he is truly risen! May he fill with hope the good expectations of hearts. May he grant peace, outraged by the barbarity of war,” the pope said.
“Today marks two months since the beginning of this war: Instead of stopping, the war has worsened. It is sad that in these days, which are the holiest and most solemn for all Christians, the deadly roar of weapons is heard rather than the sound of bells announcing the Resurrection; and it is sad that weapons are increasingly taking the place of words,” he continued.
“I renew my appeal for an Easter truce, a minimal and tangible sign of a desire for peace. The attack must be stopped, to respond to the suffering of the exhausted population; it must stop, in obedience to the words of the Risen Lord, who on Easter Day repeats to his disciples: ‘Peace be with you! (Lk 24:36; Jn 20:19.21),” the pope said.
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“I ask everyone to increase prayer for peace and to have the courage to say, to show that peace is possible,” he concluded. “Political leaders, please, listen to the voice of the people, who want peace, not an escalation of the conflict.”
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