MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
Christians without fear, shame or triumphalism
Tuesday, 10 September 2013
(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n.
38, 18 September 2013)
There are “so many Christians without resurrection” in the world today.
During the Mass Pope Francis celebrated on Tuesday morning, 10 September, at
Santa Marta, he asked the faithful to rediscover the way to the Risen Jesus,
letting themselves be “moved by him and by his power”, because Christ “is not a
spiritual notion”; he is alive. And by his Resurrection “he conquered the
Commenting on the day’s Reading, the Pope recalled several passages from the
Letter to the Colossians in which St Paul speaks of Jesus, whom he describes in
various ways: as “the fullness, the centre, hope, because he is the Bridegroom”.
Jesus is “the one who conquers, he is the Risen One”. And yet, the Bishop of
Rome warned, “we often don’t hear him, we don’t listen properly”; while the
Resurrection of Jesus “is the key point” of our faith. The Pontiff referred in
particular to those “Christians without the Risen Christ”, those who
“accompanied Jesus to the tomb, who wept, who loved him so much”, but were
unable to go any further. And in this regard he identified three categories: the
fearful, those who felt ashamed and the triumphalistic.
The first, he explained, “are those of Emmaus who on the morning of the
Resurrection, depart because they are afraid”; they are the apostles who shut
themselves in the Upper Room “for fear of the Jews”; they are even “those good
women who weep”, such as Mary Magdalene in tears, “because they have taken away
The second category is that of those “who feel ashamed, and for whom
professing that Christ has risen is somewhat embarrassing in this world that is
so advanced in the sciences”. In Pope Francis’ opinion it is of them that Paul
is thinking when he warns: “be careful that no one deceives you with philosophy
and empty deceit, according to worldly elements and not according to Christ”.
Lastly the third group are Christians who in their inner depths “do not
believe in the Risen One and want to make a more majestic resurrection than
that” of Jesus. The Pope described them as “the triumphalistic”, since “they
have an inferiority complex” and put on triumphalistic airs in their life, in
their speech, in their pastoral work and in the liturgy”. Pope Francis therefore
considers it necessary to recover the awareness that Jesus is the Risen One. And
for this reason Christians are called “without timidity or fear and without
triumphalism” to look at “his beauty”, to put their finger in the wounds of the
Risen One, of that “Christ who is all, who is fullness; Christ who is the
centre, Christ who is hope”. At the beginning of the celebration the Pope
remembered Archbishop Peter Paul Prabhu, Apostolic Nuncio, who died at the Pius
XI Clinic, in the night between Monday the 9th and Tuesday the 10th of
September, and who had lived in the Domus Sanctae Marthae in the Vatican.