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The Pope’s prayer for peace and reconciliation around conflict-torn parts of our world also by implication includes our network of Jesuit and Ignatian schools and our students and their families who live in the affected areas.

By Easter Message we usually mean the traditional Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message delivered from the central loggia of St Peter’s Basilica on Easter Sunday. However, in this short blog we look at different addresses delivered during the Easter festivities, during which Pope Francis encouraged Christians to keep the faith despite the wars, sickness and persecution in the world.

During the Easter Sunday Mass, he said: “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?”

Pope Francis delivers his Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) message from the main balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, April 16, 2017. (L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

In his Urbi et Orbi message he mentioned the various parts of the world where there is conflict, tension and forced displacement and we could point these out on the Educate Magis world map for our students, especially, Jesuit Schools and JRS Education Projects in the Middle East and certain parts of Africa. He insisted on building bridges and dialogue in Latin America where there are social and political tensions, which also affect Jesuit Schools and Fe y Alegria Centres.

By implication, solidarity, dialogue, and bridge building are also important in the network of Jesuit schools worldwide. Being global citizens also means being aware of and caring about our fellow teachers and students living in affected parts of the world.

The Pope also noted in his impromptu homily on Easter Sunday 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”.

Pope Francis’ reminds us of our commitment to ecology and respecting and caring for “our common home” to which the many ecology projects in our Jesuit schools are a great testimony.

The Vatican News agency writer reminds us that “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”.

Source: Vatican News http://www.news.va/en