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 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. Over one hundred thousand 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. Close to thirty thousand flowers adorned the square and the balcony of the loggia, 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 this day when we 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 too make haste to progress on a journey of reciprocal trust: trust among individuals, peoples and nations,” he said. “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.”
“May we too make haste to progress on a journey of reciprocal trust: trust among individuals, peoples and nations.”
Looking at the urgent efforts needed to resolve conflicts and divisions and pursue paths of peace and fraternity, the Pope praised those who are doing all they can 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.