What we can do, however, is tie ourselves to the one thing that is stable and unchanging – Jesus, he continued. "With him joy dwells in the heart, hope is reborn, pain is transformed into peace, fear into confidence, proof of the gift of love."
We have to decide which path to take, he said: "the side of the tomb or the side of Jesus." It doesn't matter how heavy our past sins, shame or hurt may be, with Christ's grace, we can roll away the stone that is keeping him from our hearts.
"This is a favorable time to remove our sin, our attachment to worldly vanity, the pride that stops us the soul," he said.
"Visited and freed by Jesus, we ask for the grace to be witnesses of life in this world that is thirsty, witnesses that arouse and raise the hope of God in hearts weary and weighed down by sadness."
He concluded: "Our announcement is the joy of the living Lord, who still says, as in Ezekiel: 'Behold, I will open your graves, I will make you get up out of your graves, O my people.'"
Immediately following Mass, Pope Francis led pilgrims in the Angelus, praying for people in the region of Kasai in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he said there continue to be reports of deadly armed clashes.
The violence has also caused displacement and affected people and property, he said, including causing damage to schools, hospitals and churches.
"I assure you of my closeness to this nation and urge you all to pray for peace so that the hearts of the architects of such crimes do not remain slaves of hatred and violence, which always…destroys."
He also prayed for victims of a mudslide in Colombia on Saturday, which has killed more than 230 people, according to the New York Times.
The Pope also said he is following what is happening in the countries of Venezuela and Paraguay. "I pray for those people, so dear to me, and I urge everyone to persevere tirelessly, avoiding any violence in the search for political solutions."
Francis concluded by thanking everyone for being there at Mass, especially the sick and the suffering who were present, as well as those who helped with the Mass. He also blessed four stones which will be used to form cornerstones of four new diocesan buildings being erected.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.