WASHINGTON, April 5 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama told Christian ministers Friday the Easter holiday held special meaning for him this year because of his recent trip to the Middle East.
"This year, I think was particularly special for me because right before Easter I had a chance to feel that spirit during my trip to the Holy Land," Obama said during the annual Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House. "And I think so many of you here know there are few experiences more powerful or more humbling than visiting that sacred earth."
Christians who walk where Jesus walked experience "blessed moments," said Obama who visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during his visit to Israel.
The Easter season is a chance for Christians to "remember the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for each of us ... [and] recommit ourselves to following His example to loving the Lord our God with all our hearts and all our souls and with all our minds, and to loving our neighbors as ourselves," Obama said.
"So this morning, let us pray that we're worthy of his many blessings, that this nation is worthy of his many blessings," Obama said at the end of his remarks. "Let us promise to keep in our hearts, in our souls, in our minds, on this day and on every day, the life and lessons of Christ, our Lord."
About 150 pastors and other Christian leaders attended the event Obama began in 2010, the White House said.
When introducing Obama Vice President Joe Biden spoke of unity and mutual support, and that the "essence" of the Obama administration is to "look out for the least among us."
"When it comes down to it, we all know that we're connected by much more than divides us, although the focus is always on what divides us," Biden said. "As we move forward as a nation, I do believe we're going to be judged on how we answer ... that call of moral responsibility, to whether we stand up for those who have the least among us, whether we act on their behalf."