Easter Message from the General Minister 2022
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Pace e Bene, Brothers.
We present here the Easter message of the General Minister. Let us spend Holy Week and Easter in meditation on the mercy of God and the mystery of Christ crucified and risen.
Easter Greetings by the General Minister
Pace e Bene, Brothers!
We once again find ourselves fast approaching Easter, the mystery of our Lord's passion, death and resurrection. These days, I think the whole world’s been caught off guard and drawn into something very similar to these dynamics through what has been happening in Ukraine: we wonder how such a thing is possible, how cruel the hearts of men become when they no longer consider their fellow man. How evil we can be – how very evil! The iniquity of evil, what does it bring about? Evil against humanity. I think that even the evil we allow to fester within ourselves is always against humanity. And when we are too focused on ourselves, we go nowhere. Today, in the world, there exists a great evil, but perhaps it is also between us individually. We place a formidable focus on ourselves and tend to evaluate - with rather trivial lenses - everything from our own point of view in order to decide what is good for me and what is not good for me. As we approach Easter, we fix our gaze toward our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. This poses a whole different point of view: the cross is a way that does not focus on itself, but everything it does, it does for our salvation, for us, for others, from the cross itself on behalf of the Son of God, so that his people may have victory over evil and death and have hope of participating in eternal life with God. I think of the many friars, I think with a certain pride, but also with a bit of envy, of how many friars are engaged on the ground to help the populations who have to escape from Ukraine with nothing, or even to the friars who are there in Ukraine and trying to serve as best they can in such a difficult situation.
There are many instances, truly many, in Ukraine, around Ukraine, in Poland, in Romania; there are also many such instances in other European countries that are reaching out in solidarity with all those who are disadvantaged; I will not attempt to name them all – for fear of leaving anyone out – but there are truly many examples of friars and organizations that are committed to welcoming the refugees, helping them and sending them aid.
I would like to be in the place of those who are there, on the front lines, with the friars who are in a position to welcome refugees, and with those who take some risks with their lives in order to bring aid; I would like to be there; that is the most direct way, it seems to me, to the model of Jesus on the cross, who denied himself to care for others.
In fact, even in our own lives, we should be witnesses to what makes us happiest: the ability to make ourselves available for the good of others, starting with the smallest things; with little tasks in the fraternity; with diligent preparation of a homily; with making ourselves available for confessions with an eager spirit and not only out of duty. Our availability to others arises from many things, but it is through this disposition of the Lord that we give ourselves to service; and it is through our availability, when we give it everything we’ve got, that we will find the secret of happiness in our lives.
Brothers, as we journey closer to the mystery of our Redemption, let us all, wherever we are, united as brothers, stand by those who are helping and those who are seriously affected by this war. Let us all make ourselves available, placing ourselves in the service of others. We will find great fellowship with the Lord, and we will find great serenity in our lives: I can only wish for you to discover in this Easter mystery that the gift of self is our great happiness.
Best wishes, brothers!
Fr. Roberto Genuin
Ministro Generale OFMCap