Spread hope, says Pope in Easter message from lockdown

Pope Francis delivered his Ubri et Orbi message from a locked down Vatican(Photo: Reuters)

Pope Francis has told people to spread the "contagion" of hope in his Easter Urbi et Orbi message. 

It continued the theme of his Easter Vigil on Saturday night in which he said that the hope found in Jesus was unlike any other because it is rooted in "the conviction that God is able to make everything work unto good".

In his Urbi et Orbi, he said that hope was springing up "in the night of a world already faced with epochal challenges, and now oppressed by a pandemic severely testing our whole human family".

He urged the faithful to spread the "contagion" of hope "from heart to heart", as he said that the promise of the Christian faith was not to be spared from suffering but to experience the transformation of evil into good.

"For many, this is an Easter of solitude, lived amid the sorrow and hardship that the pandemic is causing, from physical suffering to economic difficulties", he said.

"This disease has not only deprived us of human closeness, but also of the possibility of receiving in person the consolation that flows from the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist and Reconciliation.

"But the Lord has not left us alone. United in our prayer, we are convinced that He has laid His hand upon us." 

He went on to call on world leaders to "work actively for the common good" and help people "in resuming their normal daily activities" as he spoke of the worry many were feeling about their jobs and "an uncertain future". 

Elsewhere, he called for a global ceasefire and a peaceful resolution to conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.  He also spoke of his desire to seen an end to terrorist attacks in Africa, and the resumption of dialogue between Israel and Palestine. 

"Indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time," the Pope said.