Vatican City, Apr 7, 2013 / 07:12 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On the Feast of Divine Mercy, Pope Francis emphasized that when Jesus said “blessed are those who do not see and yet believe,” he also referred to those who believed the testimony of the Apostles and everyone today who hears the witness of Christians and believes.
“And who were they who believed without seeing? Other disciples, men and women of Jerusalem that, while they did not meet the resurrected Jesus, believed in the testimony of the Apostles and the women,” Pope Francis said April 7 before a crowd of around 100,000 people.
The Pope made his remarks before praying the Regina Caeli from the window of the papal apartment that overlooks St. Peter’s Square.
He focused on the Gospel reading for today, which recalls the encounter between St. Thomas and Jesus after the resurrection.
When he first heard the news of the resurrection, the Pope noted that Thomas responded, “If I do not see and do not touch, I will not believe.”
But eight days later, Jesus appeared to the Apostles in the upper room and invited Thomas to look at his wounds, to touch them, and he exclaimed: “My Lord my God.”
“Jesus replied, ‘because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.’”
“This is a very important word on faith,” Pope Francis stated, adding that “we can call it the beatitude of faith.”
“At all times and in all places are blessed are those who, through the Word of God proclaimed in Church and witnessed by Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the love of God incarnate, Mercy incarnate.“And this is true for each of us!” he exclaimed.
The Pope then focused on the Christ’s mission for the Church of passing on to men “the remission of sins, and so grow the Kingdom of love, sowing peace in hearts.”
And this mission also extends to “relationships, societies and institutions,” he added.
Pope Francis concluded his reflections before the Regina Caeli by urging all Christians not to “be afraid of being a Christian and living as a Christian!”
After the Easter-time Marian prayer, Pope Francis offered a special greeting to parishioners from the nearby church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, which is a center of devotion to the Divine Mercy in Rome.
“Dear brothers and sisters, be witnesses and messengers of the mercy of God!” he encouraged them.
Finally, he welcomed the numerous ecclesial movements that were present, mentioning the Neocatechumenal Way members who will be engaged in evangelizing in the streets of Rome in the coming days.