Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi Easter message: “May the Risen Lord grant the leaders of nations the courage they need to put a halt to the arms trade.”
“Jesus is risen!” – “He is truly risen, as he said!” By his resurrection, Jesus Christ has set us free from the slavery of sin and death, and has opened before us the way to eternal life.
"In the complex and often dramatic situations of today’s world, may the Risen Lord guide the steps of all those who work for justice and peace. May he grant the leaders of nations the courage they need to prevent the spread of conflicts and to put a halt to the arms trade.
From the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis delivers his Easter Message Urbi et Orbi, to the city of Rome and the world, in a time when war clouds are gathering further. With the increasingly tension between North Korea and the United States, the winds of war along with the already existing conflicts, like the one in Syria, where innocent victims are countless. But also, the many forgotten conflicts, such as the civil wars in Africa and those in Latin America.
"Today, all over the world - the Pope said - the Church echoes once more the astonishing message of the first disciples: “Jesus is risen!” – “He is truly risen, as he said!” By his resurrection, Jesus Christ has set us free from the slavery of sin and death, and has opened before us the way to eternal life. 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.”
"The Risen Shepherd - the Pope said - 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. Today too, he places upon his shoulders so many of our brothers and sisters crushed by evil in all its varied forms."
The Risen Shepherd – Francis said, "goes in search of all those lost in the labyrinths of loneliness and marginalization. He comes to meet them through our brothers and sisters who treat them with respect and kindness, and help them to hear his voice, an unforgettable voice, a voice calling them back to friendship with God." And adds “He takes upon himself all those victimized by old and new forms of slavery, inhuman labour, illegal trafficking, exploitation and discrimination, and grave forms of addiction."
Bergoglio recalled that so many children and adolescents "are deprived of their carefree innocence and exploited, and those deeply hurt by acts of violence that take place within the walls of their own home.” And added “The Risen Shepard walks beside all those forced to leave their homelands as a result of armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, famine and oppressive regimes.”
In the complex and often dramatic situations of today’s world, may the Risen Lord guide the steps of all those who work for justice and peace. May he grant the leaders of nations the courage they need to prevent the spread of conflicts and to put a halt to the arms trade." In these times, "Especially in these days, may He sustain the efforts of all those actively engaged in bringing comfort and relief to the civil population in beloved Syria, so greatly suffering from a war that continues to sow horror and death. Yesterday saw the latest vile attack on fleeing refugees, resulting in the death and injury of many.”
May the Risen Shepherd, "grant peace to the entire Middle East, beginning with the Holy Land, as well as in Iraq and Yemen." Then the Pope invoked the proximity of the Risen to the people "of South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, who endure continuing hostilities, aggravated by the grave famine affecting certain parts of Africa."
May the Risen One " sustain the efforts of all those who, especially in Latin America, are committed to ensuring the common good of societies marked at times by political and social tensions that in some cases have resulted in violence." The Pope invokes the "possibility for bridges of dialogue to be built, by continuing to fight the scourge of corruption and to seek viable and peaceful solutions to disputes, for progress and the strengthening of democratic institutions in complete respect for the rule of law." Francis also recalled Ukraine " still beset by conflict and bloodshed, to regain social harmony. May he accompany every effort to alleviate the tragic sufferings of those affected by the conflict.”
Then a definite appeal to Europe. The Risen Shepherd " May he grant hope to those experiencing moments of crisis and difficulty, especially due to high unemployment, particularly among young people.”
"Dear brothers and sisters - said Francesco - this year Christians of every confession celebrate Easter together. With one voice, in every part of the world, we proclaim the great message: “The Lord is truly risen, as he said!” May Jesus, who vanquished the darkness of sin and death, grant peace to our days."
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