“Nonetheless – and this is scandalous – armed conflicts have not ended and military arsenals are being strengthened,” he said.
“In the face of, or better, in the midst of this complex reality, the Easter message speaks concisely of the event that gives us the hope that does not disappoint,” the pope explained. “‘Jesus who was crucified has risen.’”
This message is about a man “of flesh and bone, with a face and a name: Jesus,” he said.
“The crucified Jesus, none other, has risen from the dead. God the Father raised Jesus, his Son, because he fully accomplished his saving will,” the pope added. “Jesus took upon himself our weakness, our infirmities, even our death. He endured our sufferings and bore the weight of our sins. Because of this, God the Father exalted him and now Jesus Christ lives forever; he is the Lord.”
Pope Francis prayed that those who are sick with the coronavirus, or who have lost loved ones in the pandemic, may be comforted by the Risen Christ.
He prayed for the vulnerable, for those who have lost their jobs, and for anyone experiencing financial insecurity.
He also prayed that the risen Jesus would give hope to all the children and young adults forced to go a long time without attending school or university, or without seeing their friends.
“I express my closeness to young people throughout the world,” Francis said, “and, in these days, especially to the young people of Myanmar committed to supporting democracy and making their voices heard peacefully, in the knowledge that hatred can be dispelled only by love.”
He prayed that Jesus will be a source of rebirth to migrants fleeing war and poverty, and thanked Lebanon and Jordan for taking in so many refugees of the conflict in Syria.
“May the people of Lebanon, who are undergoing times of difficulty and uncertainty, experience the consolation of the Risen Lord and find support from the international community in their vocation to be a land of encounter, coexistence and pluralism,” he said.
The pope prayed that Christ would bring peace to the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Libya. Remembering his trip to Iraq last month, he said, “I pray that it may continue along the path of peace and thus fulfill God’s dream for a human family hospitable and welcoming to all his children.”
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For the people of Africa, he prayed for freedom from internal violence and international terrorism, especially in the Sahel, Nigeria, Tigray, and the Cabo Delgado region.
“There are still too many wars and too much violence in the world!” he emphasized. “May the Lord, who is our peace, help us to overcome the mindset of war. May he grant that prisoners of conflicts, especially in eastern Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh, may return safely to their families, and may he inspire world leaders to curb the race for new weaponry.”
At the end of the Easter message, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti read the pronouncement of the plenary indulgence associated with the Urbi et Orbi before Pope Francis bestowed his blessing on the city of Rome and the world.
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.