Pope Francis explained that we also experience a sort of exile today when experiences of suffering and death make us think that God has abandoned us.
However, despite the feelings of forgotten-ness and abandonment in such situations, the prophet Jeremiah gives us another response: "the exiled people can return to see their land and experience the mercy of the Lord."
"God is not absent," he said, explaining that this also goes for the "dramatic situations" of war and violence today.
He said that "we must not give in to despair," but continue "to be confident that good overcomes evil and that the Lord dries every tear and frees us from every fear."
Francis closed his address by pointing to the Jeremiah's announcement that "I will turn their mourning into gladness, I will give them comfort and joy."
Jesus has brought this message to fulfillment, he said, explaining that the "the true and radical return from exile and the comforting light after the darkness of the crisis of faith," takes place at Easter.
In the resurrection of Jesus on Easter, we see "the full and definitive experience of the love of God, a merciful love which gives peace, joy and eternal life."
After his speech Pope Francis offered special greetings to groups of pilgrims present from different countries around the world. In his greeting to Arab-speaking pilgrims, the Pope offered his solidarity to those in the Middle East who are currently suffering due to war and violence.
He lamented that there are many people who experience exile, desperation, grief and persecution, which can push one to doubt God's love and goodness.
This doubt, he said, "dissipates in front of the truth that God is faithful, close, and keeps his promise to those who do not doubt Him, and for those who hope against hope."
Francis noted that the Lord's consolation is near to those "who pass through the agonizing night of doubt, clinging and hoping for the dawn of the Mercy of God, which the totality of the darkness and injustice will never be able to defeat."
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He closed his remarks by praying that the Lord would bless all who are living in such dramatic situations, and protect them from evil.