Pope Francis has delivered his Easter message and blessing “To the City and the World”, encouraging Christians to rediscover the joy of serving God, working for peace, and helping others in a suffering world. Source: Vatican News.
The Pope gave his traditional Urbi et Orbi Easter message on Sunday, appearing from the central loggia of Saint Peter’s Basilica overlooking the square below where he had just presided over the Easter morning Mass.
The Mass and Urbi et Urbi (from the Latin: To the city and the world) message and blessing went out live on broadcasts around the world. More than 100,000 people filled the Square and surrounding avenues, which were navigated by the Pope in the popemobile as he greeted them following the Mass.
As usual, the flowers donated by florists from the Netherlands appeared brilliantly under the mild Spring sunshine, recalling the theme of new life, hope, and joy at Easter.
In his Easter message, Pope Francis began first by announcing the joyous message of Easter day when Christians proclaim that Christ is risen.
In Jesus, the passage of humanity from death to life, sin to grace, fear to confidence and desolation to communion has been made, the Pope declared, wishing everyone a Happy Easter.
In particular, he greeted the sick, the poor, the elderly and all those suffering that they may experience the passage from affliction to consolation. He called on everyone to remember and rejoice that “the Lord has built us a bridge to life” in defeating death, making it for us “the most important and beautiful day of history”.
“Christ is risen; He is truly risen!”
The Pope explained how the word “truly” in the Easter proclamation underscores that the Lord’s resurrection is a reality, not just wishful thinking. And this means that humanity’s journey has a sure footing in hope and therefore can move forward with confidence in facing the many challenges now and ahead.
Recalling the example of the first disciples, witnesses of the resurrection, the Pope described how they all hurried to tell others this good news. Humanity is called today as well “to make haste” to meet Jesus Christ, the goal of our journey and hope of the world.
“May we allow ourselves to experience amazement at the joyful proclamation of Easter, at the light that illumines the darkness and the gloom in which, all too often, our world finds itself enveloped.”
Looking at the urgent efforts needed to resolve conflicts and divisions and pursue paths of peace and fraternity, the Pope praised those who were doing all they could to offer assistance and welcome to people fleeing war and poverty. He asked that the Lord may open all our hearts to do the same.
Pope Francis also presided at the Easter Vigil on Saturday night but watched the Way of the Cross from his residence on Friday, due to the cold weather, following his recent hospitalisation for Bronchitis.
Pope at Easter Urbi et Orbi: Christ is truly risen, hope is reborn for all! (By Thaddeus Jones, Vatican News)