Pope_Benedictus_XVI(Following on from here…)

But we may ask: what is the meaning of all this imagery? What was truly new in what happened on account of Christ?

The human soul was created immortal – what exactly did Christ bring that was new?

The soul is indeed immortal, because man in a unique way remains in God’s memory and love, even after his fall.

But his own powers are insufficient to lift him up to God. We lack the wings needed to carry us to those heights.

And yet, nothing else can satisfy man eternally, except being with God. An eternity without this union with God would be a punishment.

Man cannot attain those heights on his own, yet he yearns for them. “Out of the depths I cry to you…”

Only the Risen Christ can bring us to complete union with God, to the place where our own powers are unable to bring us.

Truly Christ puts the lost sheep upon his shoulders and carries it home.

Clinging to his Body we have life, and in communion with his Body we reach the very heart of God.

Only thus is death conquered, we are set free and our life is hope.

This is the joy of the Easter Vigil: we are free. In the resurrection of Jesus, love has been shown to be stronger than death, stronger than evil.

Love made Christ descend, and love is also the power by which he ascends – the power by which he brings us with him.

In union with his love, borne aloft on the wings of love, as persons of love, let us descend with him into the world’s darkness, knowing that in this way we will also rise up with him.

On this night, then, let us pray: Lord, show us that love is stronger than hatred, that love is stronger than death.

Descend into the darkness and the abyss of our modern age, and take by the hand those who await you. Bring them to the light! In my own dark nights, be with me to bring me forth!

Help me, help all of us, to descend with you into the darkness of all those people who are still waiting for you, who out of the depths cry unto you!

Help us to bring them your light! “Help us to say the “yes” of love, the love that makes us descend with you and, in so doing, also to rise with you. Amen!

Benedict XVI (b. 1927): Homily for Holy Saturday, St Peter’s Basilica, 7 April 2007.