Pope on Easter: The Resurrection is the source of eternal life
Pope Francis reminded Christians on Easter Sunday that the Resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith – and that even in the face of unexplainable tragedy and suffering in the world, we can declare, “Christ is risen!”, Christian Telegraph reports according to Catholic News Agency.
“This is not a fantasy. The Resurrection of Christ is not a party with many flowers,” he said during Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square. “This is beautiful, but it is not this, it is more; It is the mystery of the rejected stone that ends up being the foundation of our existence.”
“This throwaway culture,” he said, where we use something and then throw it away, “where what is not needed is rejected, the stone – Jesus – is discarded” but then becomes the source of eternal life.
The world has many misfortunes, such as disease, human trafficking, wars, destruction, revenge and hatred. We may be tempted to ask, “But where is the Lord?” he said. “Today, the Church continues to say: ‘Stop, Jesus is risen.’”
The Pope said that before God, we can each say: “I do not know how this goes, but I'm sure that Christ is risen, and I'd bet on that.”
“Brothers and sisters, this is what I wanted to tell you. Go home now, repeating in your heart: ‘Christ is risen,’” he concluded.
Following Mass, Pope Francis gave the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” blessing from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
He said how through his death and Resurrection, Christ the Shepherd has come to save his people – those “lost sheep” who through sin have wandered onto the wrong path and away from him.
“All of us, when we let ourselves be mastered by sin, lose the right way and end up straying like lost sheep. But God himself, our shepherd, has come in search of us. To save us, he lowered himself even to accepting death on the cross,” he said.
In his prayer, the Pope listed by name some of the current conflict zones around the world, especially the Middle East, Africa, South America and Ukraine, and called for peace in those regions of ongoing violence.
In particular, he named an attack which took place on the outskirts of Aleppo in Syria April 15. A bomb blast on a crowded Syrian bus convoy killed at least 112 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said April 16.
“In these times, especially support the efforts of those who work actively to bring relief and comfort to the civilian population in Syria, the victims of a war that continues to sow horror and death.”
“Just yesterday the last despicable attack on fleeing refugees which resulted in numerous deaths and injuries,” he prayed.
The Pope also prayed for all those caught in forms of slavery and for all those forced to leave their home because of conflict, terrorism, famine or oppressive regimes.
“In every age, the Risen Shepherd tirelessly seeks us, his brothers and sisters, wandering in the deserts of this world. With the marks of the passion – the wounds of his merciful love – he draws us to follow him on his way, the way of life,” he said.