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Obama Hosts Faith Leaders at Easter Prayer Breakfast

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rounding out the week’s Easter celebrations, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hosted faith leaders from across the country at a prayer breakfast in the East Room of the White House Friday morning.

“To all the pastors in the house, I hope you’ve enjoyed some well-deserved rest after a very busy Holy Week.  I see some chuckles, so maybe not,” the president told the crowd of approximately 135 people.  “Here at the White House, I’m pleased to say that we survived yet another Easter Egg Roll.”

“In these sacred days, those of us as Christians remember the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for each of us -- how, in all His humility and His grace, He took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation.  And we 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.

The president reflected on his trip to Israel last month, specifically his stop at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

“Entering the church is a remarkable experience, although it is a useful instruction to see how managing different sections of the church and different clergy -- it feels familiar.  Let’s just put it that way,” the president said to laughter.

“There, I had a chance to pray and reflect on Christ’s birth, and His life, His sacrifice, His Resurrection.  I thought about all the faithful pilgrims who for two thousand years have done the same thing -- giving thanks for the fact that, as the book of Romans tells us, ‘just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life,’" Obama continued.

“I thought of the poor and the sick who seek comfort, and the marginalized and the forsaken who seek solace, and the grateful who merely seek to offer thanks for the simple blessings of this life and the awesome glory of the next.  I thought of all who would travel to this place for centuries to come and the lives they might know,” he said.

“I was reminded that while our time on Earth is fleeting, He is eternal.  His life, His lessons live on in our hearts and, most importantly, in our actions.  When we tend to the sick, when we console those in pain, when we sacrifice for those in need, wherever and whenever we are there to give comfort and to guide and to love, then Christ is with us,” the president added.

Obama closed his speech with a prayer, asking the faith leaders to pray for the country and the blessings bestowed upon the nation by God.

“Let pray that we’re worthy of His many blessings, that this nation is worthy of His many blessings.  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,” he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio