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The Resurrection is the culmination of the Gospel, Pope says

In his Urbi et Orbi message "to the city and the world" on Easter Sunday, Pope Francis reminded the massive crowd in St. Peter's Square that because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ that we celebrate this Easter season, love has triumphed over hatred for all eternity. “The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death,” the Pope said on Sunday.

The Holy Father said that the message that Jesus is Risen is "the culmination of the Gospel" and the very essence of the Christian message. "If Christ were not raised, Christianity would lose its very meaning; the whole mission of the Church would lose its impulse, for this is the point from which it first set out and continues to set out ever anew," the Pontiff explained. Pope Francis was also keen to remind the crowd that our faith in the Gospel and in the message of the Risen Christ should not be one of mere words. "In every human situation, marked by frailty, sin and death, the Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love: it is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcast…'Come and see!,'" the Pontiff exclaimed. "Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness."

The Holy Father prayed especially for those struck by an epidemic of the Ebola virus in Africa, for persecuted Christians around the world, and especially in Syria and the Near East, as well as for clergy, religious, and laypeople who have been persecuted or kidnapped in various parts of the world. "Lord, we pray to you for all the peoples of the earth: you who have conquered death, grant us your life, grant us your peace!"