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The Custos' Easter Vigil homily:

Don't be afraid! I feel it's my turn now to say these words. I feel that my task is the same as the one who addressed the women that dawn of the eighth day. A young man, says the evangelist Mark, dressed in a white robe. Now it is up to me, no longer young, but dressed like him in the color of light, on this brightest of nights, the night most awaited of the year, here at the ambo, next to the altar, and to the rolled back stone.

It is up to me to tell you, "Do not be afraid, because the one you seek is not here, he has risen and goes ahead of you to Galilee". I sense all the splendor and responsibility of this message. I feel the privilege of being able to announce it right here, where there is another tomb, that of Francis, not empty, but also a source from which life in abundance is unleashed, irrepressible. This is the proclamation of our faith, the good news; this is the Gospel! It is the announcement that gives hope and generates life, mobilizes our powers, renews our energies, makes us capable of going beyond every bitterness and resignation, beyond all hardness of heart and resistance.

So I say to you: do not be afraid! And it's not because I have to tell you this as a priest, or because I am a poor deluded man unable to look at reality. I am aware of and likewise share in the suffering that our countries and cities are experiencing, the grieving that has struck our communities and families, the dramatic uncertainty about the future that is slowly corroding our society, the need for isolation that makes us feel imprisoned in routines that we never could have imagined. I also am aware of the evil that is still and always will be present in the world and the hardness of so many hearts, sometimes of my heart.

Yet once again, on this holy night, I would like to say to you: do not be afraid! Do not be afraid because the Risen One has truly changed history, because after his death, death no longer has the last word: because we have been given the opportunity to overcome death in the many ways in which it presents itself. With his life he has told us that small gestures heal wounds, that words of truth and delicacy make relationships grow, that meekness and tenderness are exercises in courage.

With his passion he has made known to us that giving up oneself for love is the source of newness and the yeast of fraternity. With his death he has revealed to us that there are necessary pathways through narrow doors, that are painful and undesirable, but nonetheless fruitful. With his resurrection he has shown us that there is a sure hope to live, a future to cultivate, a beyond to await confidently. Do not be afraid: there is He who precedes us in our every day Galilee: there we are called to recognize him, there we see him, again and always at work, with us and for us.