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Obama: ‘Easter weekend is a time to reflect and rejoice’

By Kim Geiger, Tribune Washington Bureau –

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama reflected on his Christian beliefs in his weekly address, wishing all Americans “a weekend filled with joy and reflection, focused on the things that matter most.”

In an address focused entirely on the holidays of Passover and Easter, Obama said “for me, and for countless other Christians, Easter weekend is a time to reflect and rejoice.”

“These holidays have their roots in miracles that took place thousands of years ago,” he said. “They connect us to our past and give us strength as we face the future. And they remind us of the common thread of humanity that connects us all.”

Obama broadened his message to include believers and non-believers alike.

“Christ’s triumph over death holds special meaning for Christians,” he said. “But all of us, no matter how or whether we believe, can identify with elements of his story. The triumph of hope over despair. Of faith over doubt. The notion that there is something out there that is bigger than ourselves.

“These beliefs help unite Americans of all faiths and backgrounds,” he said. “They shape our values and guide our work. They put our lives in perspective.”

Obama said the holidays offer an opportunity for people to “rededicate our time on Earth to selflessness, and to loving our neighbors. We remind ourselves that no matter who we are, or how much we achieve, we each stand humbled before an almighty God.”

On Monday, the first family will welcome more than 35,000 people to the South Lawn of the White house for the 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The year’s theme is “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move.”

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