ROME — General Minister Fr. Jose Rodriguez Carballo, OFM, distributed a message of joy as part of his recent Easter letter.
“Rejoice in the Lord” and “go and teach all nations” were the themes of his March 19 communication.
“It hasn’t been long since spring season officially started here in Rome,” said the General Minster’s letter to his brothers. “Once again, we are enjoying good weather as we contemplate the new spring beauty with which our mother earth is adorned. The feast of Easter is approaching and our hearts are already filling up with joy as we draw closer to the utterance of that Easter Proclamation, ‘He is not here; He is Risen!’ (Lk 24:6). Easter is, indeed, approaching, and our feet are already walking in haste because this year we know we will hear again very soon, ‘Go into the entire world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation’ (Mk 16:15).”
He added: “Because of these Easter celebrations, I wish to draw closer to you once again, my dear brothers, to both the young and the old, the sick and the healthy, and shout with all my strength, ‘Rejoice in the Lord’ (Phil. 3:1).”
The letter closed with: “My dear brothers, let us turn our gaze once more toward St. Francis, our father and brother. The Little Poor Man lived moments of great weakness in his body and great struggle in his soul. The illnesses and problems he often met in fraternity gradually consumed him; he was unable to walk and, eventually, had to be carried on a mule. Yet, there is something he had not renounced, namely, to be a messenger of joy until the end (cf. LP 24). Joy was always with Francis.”
He said, “Hence, God is inviting us at Easter to share his joy of creating love and joy in others. Let us be sowers of love, then, and joy will sprout in our land. Let us always remember that our joy is an eminent missionary act and an invitation to love, hope, create, and live.”
The General Minister’s letter for Easter 2009 is published on the Order’s Web site. A hard copy was mailed by the Provincial Office to all HNP friaries on March 26.