Don Marco Bove International Chaplain Easter Letter

In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week,
the doors were closed in the room where the disciples
were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among
them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you,’ and, after
saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The
disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord.
(John 20, 19-20)

The story of the evangelist John is truly precious to us: Jesus returns among his
disciples, alive and risen, but he finds them locked up and they are afraid. Today, all of us
are these disciples because during Easter, the Lord finds us enclosed in the house and
frightened, expecting something, waiting for the situation to end.
Jesus returns among us, because he wants to take away our fears and free us from
our confinement. For this reason, he continues to repeat his wish and his invitation:
Peace be with you! What we are missing in our heart is peace, a gift that we really need
for our homes and towns.

Jesus also shows his wounds, his hands and his side. What happened cannot be
changed: the signs of his Passion will remain forever on his body. The same is true for us
because the difficulties of this time are leaving a profound mark on us and in our lives. It
is a sign of our fragility and our helplessness, the sign that we need God and others, not
only when we are in difficulty, but every day of our lives.

Finally, the evangelist John reminds us that the presence of Jesus is a source of joy:
Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. This joy comes from above, from
God and we need it so much. We are waiting for a good future, but our future is already
in the hands of God, a Father who cares for us, and who wants to give us new life even
when we go through passion and death. Jesus is risen and we too can rise with him every
day, overcoming our fears to find peace and joy.

Lord, renew our hope, for this life and for the life you have prepared for us, a feast
that will have no end, with all those we love, on earth and in heaven.
Happy Easter to every one!
Don Marco Bove
International chaplain