Jesus “died, was buried, rose again, and appeared, that is to say, Jesus is alive. This is the very essence of the Christian message”. Pope Francis said this today, speaking off the cuff at his general audience catechesis dedicated to “the Risen Christ, our hope”, as St Paul presents Him in the First Letter to the Corinthians. Our faith is neither “an ideology, nor a philosophy”: “our faith springs from the Resurrection, it was born on Easter morning”, Pope Francis explained. “Everything is based on this assumption” of Christ’s Resurrection as “an unquestionable fact, which is not the result of speculation by some scholars, but a reality, a simple fact which occurred in the lives of some people”. “Christianity flows from there”, Pope Francis recalled. “It is neither an ideology nor a philosophy, but a journey of faith that starts with an event witnessed to by Jesus’ first disciples. Paul sums it up this way: Jesus died for our sins, was buried, was raised on the third day and appeared to Peter and the Twelve. This is the reality: He died, was buried, rose again, and appeared, that is to say, Jesus is alive. This is the very essence of the Christian message”. “By proclaiming this event, which is the essence of our faith, Paul places special emphasis on the final element of the Paschal mystery, that is, the fact that Christ is risen”, the Pope remarked. “Indeed, if everything had ended in death, we would see Him as a supreme example of self-giving, but that could not generate faith in us. He died, but He rose again. Since faith springs from the Resurrection. Accepting that Christ died on a cross is not an act of faith, but a historical fact. By contrast, it is an act of faith to believe that He rose again. Our faith was born on Easter morning”.