“The tomb of Jesus is open and it is empty!”

Christ tomb

The Pope's "Urbi et Urbi" (from the Latin: 'To the city and the world') message is about the peace and reconciliation.

Pope Francis 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 Holy Father began his “Urbi et Urbi” (from the Latin: ‘To the city and the world’) message by joyfully wishing all those following, including the some 60,000 pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square, “Happy Easter!”

Today throughout the world, he recalled, there resounds the message proclaimed two thousand years ago from Jerusalem: “Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified, has been raised!” (Mk 16:6).

The Pope reiterated that the Church relives the amazement of the women who went to the tomb at dawn on the first day of the week.

While recalling the tomb of Jesus had been sealed with a great stone, the Pope lamented that today, too, “heavy stones, block the hopes of humanity,” especially “stones” of war, humanitarian crises, human rights violations, human trafficking, among others other stones as well.

Like the women disciples of Jesus, the Pope suggested, “we ask one another: ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ This, he said, is the amazing discovery of that Easter morning, that the immense stone, was rolled away. “The astonishment of the women,” he said, “is our astonishment as well.”

“The tomb of Jesus is open and it is empty! From this, everything begins anew!” he exclaimed.

Moreover, he insisted, a new path leads through that empty tomb, “the path that none of us, but God alone, could open.” The Lord, he said, opens the path of life in the midst of death, of peace in the midst of war, of reconciliation in the midst of hatred, and of fraternity in the midst of hostility.

“Brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ is risen!” he said, noting He alone has the power to roll away the stones that block the path to life.

Without the forgiveness of sins, the Pope explained, there is no way to overcome the barriers of prejudice, mutual recrimination, the presumption that we are always right and others wrong. “Only the risen Christ, by granting us the forgiveness of our sins,” he said, “opens the way for a renewed world.”

“Jesus alone,” the Holy Father reassured, “opens up before us the doors of life, those doors that continually we shut with the wars spreading throughout the world,” as he expressed his wish today, “first and foremost, to turn our eyes to the Holy City of Jerusalem, that witnessed the mystery of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, and to all the Christian communities of the Holy Land.”

The Pope began by saying his thoughts go especially to the victims of the many conflicts worldwide, beginning with those in Israel and Palestine, and in Ukraine. “May the risen Christ open a path of peace for the war-torn peoples of those regions,” he said.

“In calling for respect for the principles of international law,” he continued, “I express my hope for a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine: all for the sake of all!”

“In calling for respect for the principles of international law, I express my hope for a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine: for the sake of all.”

“I appeal once again that access to humanitarian aid be ensured to Gaza, and call once more for the prompt release of the hostages seized on 7 October last and for an immediate cease-fire in the Strip.”

The Pope appealed for an end to current hostilities that continue to have grave repercussions on the civil population, and above all, on the children.

“How much suffering we see in their eyes! With those eyes, they ask us: Why? Why all this death? Why all this destruction?

The Pope reiterated that war is always “a defeat” and “an absurdity.”

“Let us not yield to the logic of weapons and rearming,” he said, stressing that “peace is never made with arms, but with outstretched hands and open hearts.”

The Holy Father remembered Syria, which, he lamented, has, for thirteen years, suffered from the effects of “a long and devastating” war.

“So many deaths and disappearances, so much poverty and destruction,” he insisted, “call for a response on the part of everyone, and of the international community.”

The Pope then turned to Lebanon, noting that for some time, the country has experienced institutional impasse and a deepening economic and social crisis, now aggravated by the hostilities on its border with Israel.


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