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Custos of the Holy Land: ‘Christ’s empty tomb brings forth hope’

In his Easter message to the faithful, the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton, OFM, reassures that Jesus Christ’s empty tomb “brings forth hope,” and suggests all suffering can be comforted by the Lord’s Resurrection.

By Vatican News

The Resurrection is “a passage toward a form of life so new and full” that one cannot imagine it, and it is precisely the Easter of the Lord Jesus Christ, that reminds of this.

Even as the suffering in the Holy Land is always more horrific, this was the comforting reminder offered by Father Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, in his Easter message.

In the text titled “Beyond the Darkness of Death,” the Custos helps faithful find answers to the questions that afflict humanity when faced with death, especially that of a loved one.

The experience which follows that “moment of suffering, darkness, and despair that descends upon each of us,” to the “irreversible slipping into the mystery of death,” Fr. Patton explains, is a sort of “moving beyond.”

Just as it had been for Mary Magdalene and the disciples fleeing to Emmaus, “the revealing surprise,” he said, is the encounter with the Risen Jesus.

This encounter with the Lord, he said, is always more meaningful, as it means being “with Him who now lives in God,” whose humanity “is now completely transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and with whom the experience of dying is “a passing through, and goes beyond death.”

Christ’s empty tomb “brings forth hope,” Fr. Patton concludes, “capable of illuminating even the worst experiences of life and death in which we may find ourselves immersed today.

The Custos of the Holy Land concluded by wishing all faithful a good Easter. 

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