Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Mass at the Vatican

At 10:00am today (4:00am EDT), the Holy Father presided over the celebration of the Mass in Saint Peter's Square.

The celebration began with the rite of Resurrexit.  Many of the faithful from Rome and from other parts of the world who are in that city to celebrate Easter were present.

Unscripted homily of His Holiness, Pope Francis
for the Mass of Easter Day

Having listened to the Word of God, to this gospel passage, I have three things to say.

First: proclamation.  There is a proclamation here: the Lord is risen.  That proclamation, which from the earliest times went from mouth to mouth among Christians; it was the common greeting: the Lord is risen.  The women who went to anoint the Lord's body found themselves surprised.  Surprise ... God's proclamations are always surprising, because our God is a God of surprises.  From the very beginning of the history of salvation, beginning with our father Abraham, God surprises us: Go, go, leave everything, go from your country, go.  There is one surprise after another.  God doesn't know how to proclaim without surprising us.  Surprise is what moves our hearts, touches us there, where we don't expect it.  If we were to use the language of youth, we would say: surprise is a low blow; you never expect it.  God goes on, and he surprises you.  First: proclamation creates surprises.

Second: hurry.  The women ran, hurried to say: We have found this!  God's surprises place us on a journey, right away, without waiting.  So it is that we run to see.  And Peter and John ran.  The shepherds, on that first Christmas night, ran: Let us go to Bethlehem to see what the angels have told us about.  And the Samaritan woman ran to tell her people: This is something new: I have found a man who has told me everything that I have done.  And the people knew everything that she had done.  And those people ran, they left everything that they were doing, the housewives even left the potatoes in the pots - they came back home and found them all burned - but what is important is to go, to run, so that we can see the surprise, the proclamation.  Even today, this happens.  In our neighbourhoods, in our villages when something extraordinary is taking place, people run to see what is happening.  Go in a hurry.  Andrew lost no time hurrying to go to Peter so that he could tell him: we have found the Messiah.  Surprises, good news, these things are always like that: we hurry.  In the gospel, there is someone who took a bit of time; he did not want to take risks.  But the Lord is good, he lovingly waited for Thomas.  I will believe when I see the wounds, he said.  The Lord has great patience with those of us who are not in a hurry.

Surprise and proclamation, the response to hurrying is the third thing that I want to say to you today, and it's a question: For me, what about me?  Do I have an open heart that is willing to be surprised by God, capable of going out in a hurry or am I always chanting: Tomorrow, I'll see, tomorrow, tomorrow?  What does surprise mean to me?  John and Peter went running to the tomb.  John's gospel tells us: Run.  Peter too says: Run, but in his own way, with faith that is a bit mixed up with remorse for having denied the Lord.  Proclamation surprises, running - going out in a hurry, and a question: Today, on Easter Sunday 2018, what am I doing?  You, what are you doing?

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