VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The resurrection of Christ is an event that changed the course of history and reversed the destiny of death the whole world faced, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope affirmed this today before tens of thousands, many hiding under umbrellas to escape the rain in St. Peter’s Square. The Holy Father offered his Easter greetings in 65 languages before giving his blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world).
“Yes, my brothers and sisters, Easter is the true salvation of humanity,” the Pontiff proclaimed. “If Christ — the Lamb of God — had not poured out his blood for us, we would be without hope, our destiny and the destiny of the whole world would inevitably be death.
“But Easter has reversed that trend: Christ’s resurrection is a new creation, like a graft that can regenerate the whole plant. It is an event that has profoundly changed the course of history, tipping the scales once and for all on the side of good, of life, of pardon.
“We are free, we are saved! Hence from deep within our hearts we cry out: ‘Let us sing to the Lord: glorious his triumph!’”
Benedict XVI went on to mention some of the places in the world awaiting this triumph of Christ.
“I pray to the Lord Jesus that in the Middle East, and especially in the land sanctified by his death and resurrection, the peoples will accomplish a true and definitive ‘exodus’ from war and violence to peace and concord,” the Pope said. He particularly mentioned the plight of Christians in Iraq.
The Holy Father also spoke of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, “seeing a dangerous resurgence of crimes linked to drug trafficking,” and he remembered quake-stricken Haiti and Chile.
The Pontiff called to mind Africa, saying, “In the strength of the risen Jesus, may the conflicts in Africa come to an end.” He recalled specifically the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea and Nigeria.
Finally, he spoke of Christians who suffer persecution and even death for their faith, as for example in Pakistan; and countries afflicted by terrorism and by social and religious discrimination.
“Easter does not work magic,” Benedict XVI reflected. “Just as the Israelites found the desert awaiting them on the far side of the Red Sea, so the Church, after the resurrection, always finds history filled with joy and hope, grief and anguish. And yet, this history is changed, it is marked by a new and eternal covenant, it is truly open to the future. For this reason, saved by hope, let us continue our pilgrimage, bearing in our hearts the song that is ancient and yet ever new: ‘Let us sing to the Lord: glorious his triumph!’”
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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-28853?l=english