Church of Jesus Christ of the Universe
31 March 2021
Tomorrow the Easter Triduum begins, the one with a capital letter, because we experience this Triduum every week and it is good to experience it since it makes us understand more and more the extent of our salvation, the extent of God’s love for us. However, what we are celebrating in these days is precisely the commemoration, the renewed experience of what Jesus suffered.
Every year, when we listen to the readings of the prophet Isaiah linked to the Psalms in these days, this week, we are amazed at how the prophet and also the Psalms predicted and described the whole Passion in all details; the Passion that encompasses all the teachings of Jesus, and the whole dimension of salvation. But if we take a closer look – and it is precisely the three years of Jesus’ public life that we know in particular – everything was a tracing back of what happened in the Passion in concentrated form; during those three years He went through it several times, apart from reaching the cross, which happened only once.
I think that this year is very particular for us, deeper. Once again the words of the prophet have a particular meaning for us and deeply touch us: “The Lord has called Me from the womb” (Isa 49,1). “He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.” (Isa 50,4). This is because time is getting shorter and shorter and because Jesus is here among us in His intermediate coming. His living presence broadens our spirit, gives us the peace and light that increase hope; this hope should now become a certainty, but I think this has already happened. We do not only hope but we are certain that it will happen. It is the certainty that God is guiding His people, despite all that is going on around us; although times may appear dark, there is the certainty that God is leading and guiding history.
I said that in this Triduum we contemplate the Easter passage of Jesus. We contemplate Jesus’ passage, but not only to remember it, but to recognise, in this peace and in this certainty, where we already are: Jesus has overcome death within us. We see what He has already freed us from; we also recognize what we still need to be liberated from, but we have to avoid withdrawing into ourselves. We see it in the peace and serenity that comes from the certainty that God guides us, that He will not abandon anyone who wants to be saved, that this is the work of God: He created, redeemed and sanctified us. He did not do it once, but He is doing it continuously and He is doing it now, for me, for His people, for those who allow Him to act. This is precisely because – we listened to the Passion on Sunday, we will listen to it on Friday and we are listening to it in the passages of these days – through these passages we see God’s faithfulness and Jesus Christ’s faithfulness; the faithfulness to His promises, to His covenant; Jesus’ faithfulness to God. Each of us feels it, and it is this faithfulness that gives us the certainty that we cannot get lost; we just have to want it.
Several times, we have been told to be faithful and simple; indeed, our faithfulness is simple when we trust in Jesus’ faithfulness, in God’s faithfulness. It becomes complicated and difficult when we count on ourselves, when we think we can do it alone. We have already succeeded because Jesus has defeated the world, but we must believe in Jesus and fasten ourselves to His faithfulness.
Another thought I have had in these three days – Monday, Tuesday and today – is about how Jesus continued to teach in the temple until the last day, until they arrest Him on Thursday night. That night He gave His greatest teaching as He entered silence until completing redemption. In those three years of public life, He kept teaching every day, day and night, always, until the end. Even this week, He went to the temple every day, and then He withdrew to the garden of Gethsemane and continued to teach to the apostles. Also, as we have heard, He went to Lazarus; continuously, “in season and out of season”, as Saint Paul would say.
I also noticed that both in John’s Gospel yesterday and today in Matthew’s Jesus openly warned Peter when he said to him: “’I will lay down my life for Your sake.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times’”(John 13-37-38). He had already done that to poor Peter when they were coming down from Mt. Tabor and He said to him: “Get behind me, Satan” (Mt 16,23). Whereas He did not openly warn Judas Iscariot, who would really betray Him. John reports Jesus’ words in his Gospel: “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it” (John 13,23-26), but he only said it to John. In the Gospel of Matthew, it is Judas Iscariot who says: “’Rabbi, is it I?’ He said to him, ‘You have said it’” (Mt 26,25). However, Jesus always left a doubt and never gave a judgment because the apostles would surely have attacked Judas; Jesus always left a doubt. Yet, He openly reproached Peter because He knew the path he would go, and He also knew which path Judas Iscariot was about to take.
We know that there can no longer be a traitor in these times as we have been told already a few years ago. We have to understand this well. There can no longer be a traitor who blocks God’s plans, who deviates or changes them. It is not possible, as St. Michael the Archangel once told us: “Even if I (St. Michael) betray Him, God’s plans will go on anyway. They can no longer be stopped; they must come to completion”. However, each of us can betray ourselves; we cannot betray God’s programmes but we can betray ourselves, our identity, our calling; we can renounce living fully; we can ruin God’s plan for us; we can renounce being free; we can renounce being risen children of God, because God leaves everyone free. I truly wanted to say this because no one should think that God has taken away our freedom. We all have our freedom both individually and as a people. Even if all of us, as people or as Church of Jesus Christ here on Earth, betrayed God, the programme would go on. In that sense, there is no longer a traitor like Judas Iscariot.
On behalf of all of us, I really wish you happy Easter of the Resurrection. I hope you will begin these days with Jesus but not with sadness, even though contemplation of the suffering of our God touches us deeply. These feelings shall open up space to the spirit, to our faithfulness and to our love for Him. They shall awaken our desire to participate fully, to reach eternal life, the true life, and lead us to say: “Here I am! Now I want to participate fully in Your Church, to participate in what You want to do for this humanity”. Contemplation of Jesus who climbs Calvary, Jesus who suffers infinitely, awakens in us the desire to say: “I, too, want to be together with You; together with Mary Most Holy”. This is my wish for a happy Easter to all of you and a happy Resurrection Sunday.
We accompany you on your path and we bless you, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
 See Mk 14,1 – 15,47
 See John 18,1 – 19,42
 See John 12,1
 See 2Tim 4,2
 See John 13, 21-33.36-38
 See Mt 26,14-25
 Quotations are taken from the Bible New King James Version (NKJV)