(Vatican Radio) On Easter Sunday morning Pope Francis presided over Mass in St Peter’s Square festooned for the occasion with colourful tulips from Holland.

Breaking with tradition the Pope gave an off the cuff homily encouraging Christians to keep the faith despite the wars, sickness and hatred in the world.

“The Church never ceases to say, faced with our defeats, our closed and fearful hearts, `stop, the Lord is risen.’ But if the Lord is risen, how come these things happen?”

He went on to say “Nobody asks us: `But, are you happy with all that’s happening in the world?’ Are you willing to go forward’,” carrying a cross, as Jesus did?

The Pope also noted in his impromptu homily that ” in this culture of waste what is not needed is thrown away, discarded, that stone – Jesus – is discarded and is the source of life.

And we too, pebbles on the ground, in this land of pain, tragedy, with faith in the Risen Christ we have a wisdom in the midst of many calamities.

The wisdom to look beyond and say, “look there is no wall; there is a horizon, there is life, there is joy, there is the cross amidst this ambivalence. Look ahead, do not close in on yourself”.

(from Vatican Radio)

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