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Obama says Holy Days a time for renewal

March 30, 2013 at 6:00 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, March 30 (UPI) -- Easter and Passover is a special and sacred time for millions of Americans to reflect on their common values, President Obama said Saturday.

In his weekly address to the nation, Obama noted the Christian and Jewish holidays afford people an opportunity to take a break from their "busy and noisy lives" and "slow down and spend some quiet moments in prayer and reflection."

"This week, Jewish families gathered around the Seder table, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and the triumph of faith over oppression," Obama said. "And this weekend, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will join Christians around the world to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the hopeful promise of Easter.

"As Christians, my family and I remember the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us -- how he took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation. And we recommit ourselves to following his example here on Earth.

"To loving our lord and savior. To loving our neighbors. And to seeing in everyone, especially 'the least of these,' as a child of God."

The president noted "those values are at the heart not just of the Christian faith; but of all faiths. From Judaism to Islam; Hinduism to Sikhism; there echoes a powerful call to serve our brothers and sisters. To keep in our hearts a deep and abiding compassion for all. And to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves."

He called it "the common humanity that binds us together."

"And as Americans, we're united by something else, too: faith in the ideals that lie at the heart of our founding; and the belief that, as part of something bigger than ourselves, we have a shared responsibility to look out for our fellow citizens," Obama said.

"So this weekend, I hope we're all able to take a moment to pause and reflect. To embrace our loved ones. To give thanks for our blessings. To rededicate ourselves to interests larger than our own."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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