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DEAR friend, stories told well can inspire and uplift our souls, putting us in touch with the true, the good and the beautiful. This is especially the case if they are legends related to our faith. And in this regard, with Easter approaching, I would like to tell you about the legend of the passion flower, the flower that, in a special way, carries the symbols of Our Lord’s passion.

A long, long time ago, when the world had just been created by God, the first spring season in history brought forth all the plants of the earth, which all gradually blossomed thanks to the warmth of the sun. Only one plant did not hear the call of spring, and when it finally made it through the hard sod, spring had already turned into summer, and it failed to blossom.

“Let me also blossom, O Lord!” pleaded the little plant. “You too shall blossom,” answered the Lord. “But when?” asked the little nameless plant anxiously. “One day... you will see,” said the Lord, and his eyes became glazed with sadness.

After a long time, as every year, spring had returned and, at its touch, all the plants of Golgotha had opened their flowers. All, except the nameless seedling.

The wind carried the echo of loud cries, groans and weeping: a man was advancing through the screaming crowd, bent under the cross, his face disfigured by pain and blood. “I would like to weep too, as humans do,” thought the seedling with a shudder. Just then, Jesus passed by the pitiful little plant, and one of his tears mixed with his blood, fell on it. Immediately, a very special flower bloomed: it bore in its corolla the instruments of the passion: a crown of thorns, hammers and nails... the flower of passion (passiflora incarnata) had finally blossomed.

Jesus’ tear and the subsequent blossoming of the passion flower communicate to us, in a simple and delicate way, a very profound truth: with his passion, death and resurrection, Christ, in his great love, has given us eternal life. In fact, the surprise and gift of that first Easter Sunday is that the resurrection is not limited to Jesus alone, it extends to all who follow his way. It is for us too. Jesus is risen in our flesh and blood, and therefore our death has been defeated.

We have to admit that as our lives progress we become more and more aware of our mortality and of the unstoppable journey towards the end. Death is therefore a great challenge to our faith, because we see beyond death only as through a glass darkly. But Christ’s resurrection makes us breathe the pure air of eternal life. The forces of evil may often seem overwhelming, but Christ has already won for us. We must always trust in his victory, and not live as if death still holds us in check.

Dear friend, to be a Christian is to be a person of hope because of what happened on Easter morning. But do not believe that Christian hope is just a superficial optimism based on a refusal to consider the facts. It is rather a great and deep trust in God.

Good Friday, the day of darkness and death, comes for everyone. So does Holy Saturday, the day of emptiness and sorrow. These days, I know, it is hard to believe in the resurrection. But, rest assured, Easter Sunday, the day of life and joy, will come. Death, the last enemy, has been conquered forever by the Lord.

May we truly live the Easter journey with Christ this year and go forth as true disciples of the Risen Lord, bringing love, peace, justice and truth to this world. I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Easter.

Updated on March 31 2023