May 25, 2014 / 12:28 pm
At an ecumenical celebration in Jerusalem during his visit to the region, Pope Francis told inter-denominational Christians that the Risen Christ unites them all in a message of hope for the world.
“Each of us, everyone baptized in Christ, has spiritually risen from this tomb, for in baptism all of us truly became members of the body of the One who is the Firstborn of all creation,” Pope Francis said.
The Pope encouraged those gathered to “pause in reverent silence before this empty tomb in order to rediscover the grandeur of our Christian vocation,” since “we are men and women of Resurrection, and not of death.”
“Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the basis of our hope! Let us not deprive the world of the joyful message of the resurrection! And let us not be deaf to the powerful summons to unity which rings out from this very place!”
Pope Francis made his remarks on May 25 at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre after a private meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Costantinople Bartholomew I in Mount Scopus. The pontiff’s three-day visit to the area took him first to Jordan, Palestine and now Jerusalem. Aside from stressing peace, an end to the arms trade and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Pope has insisted on the importance of Christian unity during his trip.
In his address to faithful gathered at the church built where Christ was crucified, Pope Francis underscored the basis “of the faith which unites us,” given by the empty tomb of the Risen Lord.
The pontiff then stressed that “the divisions which continue to exist among us, the disciple of Jesus” cannot be denied and that “this sacred place makes us even more painfully aware of how tragic they are.” …
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