Violence in the Middle East, Libya, the Ivory Coast. Destruction in Japan. Persecution of Christians.
Amidst all the turmoil it seems hard to find the joy of Easter.
But in his Urbi et Orbi message, Pope Benedict XVI says it is for these "painful situations" that Christ died for us.
In heaven all is peace and gladness. But alas, it is not so on earth! Here, in this world of ours, the Easter alleluia still contrasts with the cries and laments that arise from so many painful situations: deprivation, hunger, disease, war, violence. Yet it was for this that Christ died and rose again! He died on account of sin, including ours today, he rose for the redemption of history, including our own. So my message today is intended for everyone, and, as a prophetic proclamation, it is intended especially for peoples and communities who are undergoing a time of suffering, that the Risen Christ may open up for them the path of freedom, justice and peace.
And like his disciples who will meet him in Galilee, Christ is journeying ahead of us -- "towards the new heavens and the new earth" says the Holy Father, adding "He is with us until the end of time. Let us walk behind him, in this wounded world, singing Alleluia."
Read the Pope's Urbi et Orbi message below:
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE
OF HIS HOLINESS
POPE BENEDICT XVI
“In resurrectione tua, Christe, coeli et terra laetentur!
In your resurrection, O Christ, let heaven and earth rejoice!” (Liturgy of the Hours).
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Rome and across the world,
Easter morning brings us news that is ancient yet ever new: Christ is risen! The echo of this event, which issued forth from Jerusalem twenty centuries ago, continues to resound in the Church, deep in whose heart lives the vibrant faith of Mary, Mother of Jesus, the faith of Mary Magdalene and the other women who first discovered the empty tomb, and the faith of Peter and the other Apostles.
CNS Photo/Paul Haring