Húsvéti üzenet


Dear Confrères and Consoeurs of the Sacred Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus,
         The Monday after Easter Sunday is traditionally known as “Angel Monday”, because it reminds us of the moment when the angel encountered the women at the sepulchre, where they had gone to retrieve the body of  Jesus. Matthew says that “the angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it” (28,2). Mark talks about a “young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side” (16,5).  Luke describes “two men in glittering robes that stood beside the women and asked them - Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Lk 24, 4-6). John describes “two angels dressed in white clothing” (20,12) when referring to the appearance to Mary Magdalene.
         Everyone who experiences the appearances of angels mentioned in the Gospel accounts referring to the resurrection is deeply affected by their presence and their hopeful message.  They are sent immediately to announce to other members of the community the new reality of the resurrection of Jesus and his triumph over death, to lead them to a real conversion and to spread faith, hope and love around the world.
    Through baptism and confirmation we also receive the “mission of the angels”, as messengers of the resurrection and divine love of Jesus, speaking of his victory over death and evil.
    Nowadays, in our secular world, steeped in technological nihilism, we are called to reveal to our contemporaries what a sociologist called “the humming of the angels”. Angels are the ministers and messengers of an extraordinary God, because they link the world of God to the world of men, making God’s world a part of ours and also at the service of God’s plan. The angels in the Bible are the custodians of God’s constant loving presence in our lives. They share in the communion of Jesus with the Father. They are the angels of absolute belief in God, always engaged in following his will; they teach us how to be fearless when it comes to allowing the flow into our hearts of every beautiful thing that the Father has created and given us.
    An old homily defines Easter as “the common festivity of all creation, sent to the world by God’s will, divine dawn of Christ on earth, perennial solemnity of archangel and angels, worldwide immortality, incorruptible nourishment for mankind, heavenly soul of all things”. The homily of the holy Easter, from the anonymous “Cuartodecimano”, dating from the second century in lower Asia, mentions “the mystery of  Easter” (about holy Easter 13; 1.c., 59), and describes Jesus’s suffering which extends throughout the entire history of salvation and is also mentioned as the “cosmic mystery of Easter” (kb, 40; l.c., 67),
    The luminous golden mosaics of Monreale cathedral anticipate the beauty of  the heavenly Jerusalem, surrounded by the angels of Eucharistic worship that share in our earthly liturgy and look to the heavenly city celebrated by angels and saints.
    To achieve our eternal destiny, God not only gives us his guardian angels and Himself, but also all the people we encounter in our path and that in one way or another walk beside us.
    All of us are “guardian angels” in a way, united to each other, because the Lord wants all our different relationships to accompany us, just like the angels and the saints, and guide us to the summit of total and everlasting happiness with the living God in the communion of the Trinity.
I look forward to welcoming all of you to Monreale cathedral on the occasion of the pilgrimage during Pentecost. I wish all the members of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus to be “angels” to all their brothers and sisters, to the sick, the poor and those in need of consolation and help.
Happy Easter!
                                                                                                                                              Monreale April 6th
                                                                                                                                         Michele Pennisi
                                                                                                                                                       Archbishop of Monreale
                                                                                                 Ecclesiastical Grand Prior of the Military and Hospitaller                                                                                            Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem