Ordo Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum EN

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updated 4:51 PM UTC, Apr 18, 2024

Easter Greetings from the General Minister

Dear Brothers,

We have arrived again this year to the feast of the Lord’s Resurrection. During the course of this Holy Week, I imagine that you are all committed to spending the time well, concerned as you are with your many different cares and circumstances around the world. So, like every year, I take this opportunity to send you all a word, a wish, a greeting!

I imagine that most of you follow attentively the talks that our confrere Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa prepares every year for Lent and Advent – the Friday sermons. If you had a chance to listen to the last one, the one last Friday, you would have seen how energetically Father Raniero, even at his age, spoke to the members of Vatican City and to the whole world.

I was struck by the strength with which he repeated, “Take courage, for the Lord is with you.” He’s not inviting us to a trust that is simply made of words, or of a pat on the shoulder or on the cheek, urging us on despite all the hardships; this is an invitation to courage that has a much stronger foundation: the certainty that the Lord is present among us. He is the Church’s head, its leader present and working in its midst. He continues to lead history, the overall history, but also the history of our local communities, fraternities, our personal history. He leads them all by remaining with us through the presence of the Spirit who guides us to freedom, who guides us to the whole truth. 

I would like to take this invitation by Father Raniero and say to each one of you: realize that the Lord Jesus is not a Lord who came once and who remains in the history of the past, who has done such beautiful things for each of us, but who is now gone. The Lord presents himself as Living, he is Living, he is the One who Lives!

In recent days I was thinking in particular of this western world which has become a bit – how should I say – detached from God, as if God did not exist, as if he had nothing to say: perhaps we have forgotten, or this world has forgotten, that God actually is present and lives in our present day. That God is alive! 

But perhaps it also happens in the personal history of each of us: how many times are we faced with personal or communal difficulties, challenges that we meet, activities to be carried out? We face them thinking that it is all the result of our commitment, our work, our struggles. All of this is true, and we are thankful to have the good fortune of being a large Order in which we are seriously committed to walking well according to God, proclaiming his Kingdom. But sometimes struggle, mistrust and sadness seep through because we trust only in our own strength, our own intelligence or our own stubbornness, and forget that there is someone who is at our side, who walks with us, who holds the cards for our good, who governs and works efficaciously, of the efficacy that comes from the Holy Spirit, who is present in our midst. It is the Spirit who guides, who supports, who enlightens, and through whose action we too can commit ourselves perennially refreshed. 

I believe the greatest and most promising challenge for each of us is to learn to read the signs of the Spirit, learn to listen to his voice. One can see him working, the presence of Jesus with us, the Lord of history. One can sense the closeness of God, alive in our midst.

My hope for you this Easter is precisely this: that you may sense the living Lord Jesus, working with his Spirit in your history, in your affairs, and thus to taste and offer a true support of hope and confidence, of serenity, of strength, to yourselves, to your fraternities, to all people and to the whole world around you, whatever the social, cultural and human condition of those who live among you. 

Brothers: The Lord Jesus is the Living One. My best wishes!

Last modified on Thursday, 06 April 2023 10:31