By Sr Bernadette M Reis, fsp
Beginning his customary "Urbi et Orbi" message, Pope Francis greeted the faithful with “Jesus is risen from the dead!”
He then said that Jesus used of the image of the grain of wheat that falls to the earth and dies to prophesy his own death and resurrection.
Jesus, God’s grain of wheat
The Pope reminds us that Jesus is the grain of wheat "sowed by God in the furrows of the earth" which, by the power of His love “humbles itself and gives itself to the very end, and thus truly renews the world.” It is a power that still bears fruit even though the world bears so many “furrows” of violence and injustice. That fruit is hope, for “we Christians believe and know that Christ’s resurrection is the true hope of the world,” Pope Francis said.
The Holy Father then prayed for the gift of peace, naming several areas in the world.
God has the last word
Just before extending the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing, Pope Francis reminded the people in the square of what the women heard at the tomb — that “Death, solitude and fear are not the last word.” The word that overpowers these words is “a word that only God can speak: it is the word of the resurrection.”
After the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing, the Pope extended Easter greetings to pilgrims from Italy, and from other parts of the world, as well as to all those viewing through various media outlets.
He prayed that the joy of the Risen Lord might comfort families, especially the elderly who are “the precious memory of society, ” and the young, “the future of the church and the humanity.”
He thanked everyone present for having participated in the celebration of Easter which is the most important feast of our faith.
Lastly, he gave special thanks for the flowers which came from Holland and he led the crowd in applauding the people from Holland present in the square.
Pope Francis then ended with his customary, “Please do not forget to pray for me,” and “Enjoy your lunch.”