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Pope Saint John Paul II's words at the General Audience
Easter Wednesday, 18 April 2001 - in English, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

"1. Today, the customary Wednesday General Audience is flooded with the luminous joy of Easter. At this time, the Church celebrates the great mystery of the Resurrection with exultation. It is a deep and inextinguishable joy based on the risen Christ's gift of the new and everlasting Covenant, which endures because now he dies no more. A joy that continues not only during the Easter Octave, which the liturgy considers a single day, but is extended for 50 days until Pentecost. Indeed, it now embraces all times and all places.

During this period, the Christian community is invited to a new and deeper experience of the risen Christ, living and active in the Church and in the world.

2. In this splendid setting of light and joy that belongs to the Easter season, let us now pause to contemplate together the face of the Risen One, taking up and carrying out what I have not hesitated to call the "core" of the great legacy left to us by the Jubilee of the Year 2000. In fact, as I stressed in my Apostolic Letter Novo millennio ineunte, "if we ask what is the core of the great legacy it leaves us, I would not hesitate to describe it as the contemplation of the face of Christ ... known through his manifold presence in the Church and in the world, and confessed as the meaning of history and the light of life's journey" (15).

Just as on Good Friday and Holy Saturday we contemplated the sorrowful face of Christ, we now turn our gaze full of faith and grateful love to the face of the Risen One. The Church looks at him in these days, following in the footsteps of Peter, who professes his love to Christ (cf Jn 21, 15-17), and in the footsteps of Paul, who was overwhelmed by the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus (cf Acts 9, 3-5).

The Easter liturgy presents to us the various encounters with the risen Christ, which are an invitation to reflect on his message and encourage us to imitate the faith journey of those who recognized him in those first hours after the Resurrection. Thus the devout women and Mary Magdalen spur us to bring the news of the Risen One (cf Lk 24, 8-10; Jn 20, 18). The beloved Apostle bears an exceptional witness that it is precisely love which sees the reality symbolized by the signs of the Resurrection; the empty tomb, the absence of the body, the folded burial cloths. Love sees and believes, and urges us to walk towards the One who in himself contains the full meaning of all things: Jesus, living for ever and ever.

3. In today's liturgy the Church contemplates the face of the Risen One, who shares the journey of the two disciples of Emmaus. At the beginning of our meeting, we listened to a passage from this well-known text of the Evangelist Luke.

However tiring, the road to Emmaus leads from a sense of discouragement and bewilderment to the fullness of Easter faith. In retracing this journey, we too are joined by the mysterious traveling Companion. Jesus approaches us on the road, meeting us where we are and asking us the essential questions that open the heart to hope. He has many things to explain about his and our destiny. In particular, he reveals that every human life must pass through his Cross to enter into glory. But Christ does something more: he breaks the bread of sharing for us, offering that Eucharistic Table in which the Scriptures acquire their full meaning and reveal the unique and shining features of the Redeemer's face.

4. After recognizing and contemplating the face of the risen Christ, we too, like the two disciples, are asked to run to our brothers and sisters to bring everyone the great news: "We have seen the Lord!" (Jn 20, 25).

"His Resurrection is our rising to life" (Easter Preface II): this is the good news that Christ's disciples do not tire of bringing to the world, especially through the witness of their own lives. This is the most beautiful gift that our brothers and sisters expect of us in this Easter season.

Let us be captivated, then, by the fascination of Christ's Resurrection. May the Virgin Mary help us to experience in full the joy of Easter: a joy which, as the Risen One promised, no one can ever take from us and which will never end (cf Jn 16, 22)."

Saluti:

"I extend a special greeting to the newly ordained Deacons of the Pontifical Irish College, and I urge you to rely always on the Holy Spirit to guide you in your ministry of word and service. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, especially those from England, Ireland, Finland, India and the United States, I invoke the joy and peace of the Risen Saviour. Happy Easter!

Je salue cordialement les francophones présents, notamment les jeunes. Que la joie de Pâques vous soutienne chaque jour! À tous, j’accorde bien volontiers la Bénédiction apostolique.

Je salue particulièrement Monseigneur François Favreau et les pèlerins du diocèse de Nanterre, venus au terme de leur démarche synodale. Chers Amis, je vous encourage à prendre appui sur cette étape de réflexion, de partage et de prière, pour vivre plus intensément votre vie chrétienne personnelle et ecclésiale, et pour ouvrir des chemins d’espérance aux hommes d’aujourd’hui, en leur faisant découvrir le Christ. Par la parole et par l'exemple, vous êtes tous appelés à participer activement à l'annonce de l’Évangile. Vous en trouverez la force dans la méditation de la Parole de Dieu, dans une vie sacramentelle toujours plus intense et dans la charité vécue au quotidien. Je vous invite à porter une attention toute particulière aux familles, pour qu'elles remplissent généreusement leur mission de service de la vie et d'éducation de la jeunesse. Faites une place toujours plus grande aux jeunes! Ils attendent que leurs aînés leur transmettent la Parole de Dieu et les valeurs chrétiennes, et qu’ils leur fassent découvrir la joie qu'il y a à suivre le Christ, qui donne des raisons de vivre; rendez-les toujours plus responsables dans la société et dans l'Église !Que le Seigneur vous accompagne dans votre marche diocésaine!

Erfüllt von österlicher Freude grüße ich die vielen Pilger und Besucher aus den Ländern deutscher Sprache. Besonders heiße ich die vielen Jugendlichen willkommen, die sich in diesen Tagen auf den Weg nach Rom gemacht haben. Ich bitte euch: Seid für eure Altersgenossen Zeugen der Osterbotschaft und des neuen Lebens, das allen Menschen gilt. Gern erteile ich euch, euren Lieben daheim und allen, die mit uns über Radio Vatikan und das Fernsehen verbunden sind, den Apostolischen Segen.

Com estes pensamentos, saúdo os visitantes da Escola «Jaime Moniz» de Funchal na Ilha da Madeira: faço votos de que a vinda a Roma vos fortaleça na fé e avive no vosso ânimo a coragem de testemunhar a grandeza do amor de Cristo, nosso Salvador. Saúdo, também, aos brasileiros da «Associação Nacional dos Magistrados da Justiça do Trabalho», convidando a se inspirarem sempre nos nobres e elevados princípios da Doutrina Social da Igreja, na defesa dos direitos do trabalhador e de suas famílias. A todos desejo uma feliz e santa Páscoa.

Doy una cordial bienvenida a los fieles de lengua española. De modo particular a los seminaristas mayores de Barcelona y a los alumnos del colegio-seminario de Barbastro. Dejad que Cristo los hable, que grabe su rostro en vuestro corazón y vuestra mente, para hacerlo presente al hombre de hoy. Invito a todos a vivir intensamente la alegría pascual para contagiar con ella a cuantos os rodean.

Muchas gracias por vuestra atención.

Srdacno pozdravljam hodocasnicke skupine iz Splita, Zagreba, Rijeke, Dubrovnika, Zadra, Grohota, Grude, Metkovica i drugih hrvatskih mjesta. Predragi, neka veliki dar, koji je Bog ljudima dao u Kristovu Vazmenom Otajstvu, u vama neprestano budi istinsku radost i nadu koja nece nikada iznevjeriti. Rado udjeljujem apostolski blagoslov svakomu od vas i vašim obiteljima. Hvaljen Isus i Marija!

S láskou vítam študentov z Obchodnej akademie zo Ziliny a tieZ iných pútnikov zo Slovenska. Drahí, nech vel'konočná radost' napa vaše srdcia a svetlo Zmrtvychvstalého vedie vaše kroky. Rád udeujem apoštolské poehnanie vám a vaším drahým. Pochváleny buď Jeziš Kristus.

Ik groet nu de Nederlandse en Belgische pelgrims, in het bijzonder de pelgrims uit het bisdom Roermond, vergezeld van de hulpbisschop Monseigneur Everardus de Jong. Ik wens u toe dat u altijd de vreugde en de vrede van de aanwezigheid van de verrezen Heer in uw midden mag ervaren. Van harte verleen ik u de Apostolische Zegen. Geloofd zij Jezus Christus!

Szeretettel köszöntöm a magyar zarándokokat Úrkútról. Isten hozott Benneteket!

A húsvét hetében az Úr Feltámadásának örvendezünk. Szívbôl adom apostoli áldásomat rátok és szeretteitekre. Dicsértessék a Jézus Krisztus!

Con affetto mi rivolgo ora ai pellegrini di lingua italiana. In particolare, saluto i Sacerdoti che celebrano il quarantesimo anniversario della loro Ordinazione, e tra di essi vorrei ricordare Monsignor Rocco Talucci, Arcivescovo di Brindisi-Ostuni, Monsignor Gioacchino Illiano, Vescovo di Nocera Inferiore-Sarno, e Monsignor Giovanni Rinaldi, Vescovo di Acerra. Per tutti voi, carissimi, che insieme vi preparaste al Sacerdozio, e che oggi avete voluto riunirvi qui, circondati da familiari e amici, invoco la speciale protezione dei santi apostoli Pietro e Paolo.

Sono lieto inoltre di salutare i novelli Diaconi della Compagnia di Gesù. Su di voi, carissimi, e sul vostro itinerario formativo e apostolico invoco l'abbondanza dei doni dello Spirito Santo, mentre di cuore benedico voi e i vostri cari.

Il mio pensiero va poi ai malati, agli sposi novelli e ai giovani presenti, specialmente ai numerosi Cresimandi, provenienti da diverse Diocesi e Parrocchie d'Italia. Cari ragazzi e giovani, anche a voi, come ai primi discepoli, Cristo risorto ripete: "Come il Padre ha mandato me, anch'io mando voi ... Ricevete lo Spirito Santo" (Gv 20,21-22). Rispondete con gioia e con amore a questo immenso dono!

Per voi, cari malati, la risurrezione di Cristo sia fonte inesauribile di conforto e di speranza. E voi, cari sposi novelli, siate testimoni del Risorto con il vostro amore coniugale.

Tutti di cuore vi benedico."

APPELLO DEL SANTO PADRE

"As the light of the risen Christ illumines the whole universe, we can only express solidarity with all our brothers and sisters in the Middle East who have been caught in a maelstrom of armed violence and retaliation.

The roar of weapons must give way to the voice of reason and conscience:  sincere concern for the legitimate aspirations of all peoples and the scrupulous observance of international law are the only way to bring the parties back to the negotiating table and to mark out a path of brotherhood for those peoples.

May God speak to the hearts of those who kill, and have pity on those who succumb to so much violence! Tu nobis, Victor Rex, miserere!"