FR. ALBERTO, besides being the youngest friar in our community, is also an accomplished violinist, and often plays in the Basilica during Solemn Masses.

Though I am not an expert, I know that the violin is one of the hardest instruments to play: it requires a great deal of study, passion, talent and, above all, a lot of patience. However, Alberto explained to me that in order to be a skilled player you also need a good violin. In fact, having a quality instrument allows you to develop your technique much more naturally and produce the best sound possible with less effort. It goes without saying that the wood making up the violin must be of the finest quality if one wishes to get the best acoustics out of it.

During an interview, a famous violinist was asked how he managed to touch the deepest chords of the hearts of his listeners. Showing his instrument, the violinist answered, “This wood must have absorbed many rays of sunlight, so there is a great deal of sunlight in this wood, and this light is now going out of it whenever I play it.”

Sunlight is not only vital for plants, it is also essential for every living being: it makes the water cycle work (from evaporation to rain); it dispels darkness; it allows us to see; it is energy, warmth and life.

It is certainly no coincidence that light is mentioned at the beginning of the Bible, “And God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light” (Gen 1:3). We know, however, that as history progressed, the world became more and more corrupt, and darkness began to take over again. Nevertheless, God loves us so much that, “the Word (that is, God) became flesh and came to dwell among us.” Unfortunately, “the world did not recognize Him. He came unto his own people, but even His own people did not accept Him,” (Jn 1:11). And so Jesus was betrayed, disavowed and ultimately crucified as the worst of criminals.

God, however, did not give up and, on the first Easter Sunday, said once again, “Let there be light!” and there was light: Jesus rose from the grave. And the splendor of that eternal light has shone through the centuries right down to our own times, and it is still shining today as it did on that first Easter Sunday almost 2000 years ago.

How much of that light is present in our hearts? And how much of that light are we able to shine out to others? It all depends on us, on how much time we spend with the Lord. The Eucharist is the body of Christ who died and rose again for us. In the Holy Scriptures we can hear his voice as well as in our moments of prayer and meditation. In the poor, the hungry, the suffering, the marginalized… in our neighbor, we can see Him walking toward us.

As Easter approaches let’s therefore pray to the Lord to grant us that light in abundance so that we might learn to love God and our neighbor all the more. And may the light of the Resurrection shine on the entire world so that peace may reign, and real joy replace the sadness and gloom of the past months caused by the pandemic.

On behalf of all the friars of the Basilica of Saint Anthony here in Padua, I wish you and all your loved ones a Holy Easter and many happy and peaceful days.

Updated on April 01 2021