On Easter Morning, Pope Asks: How Will You Respond to the Resurrection?
Christians should ask themselves, ‘What about me? Is my heart open to God’s surprises?’, the Holy Father said.
VATICAN CITY — On Easter morning Pope Francis said God’s announcement to his people always comes as a surprise, like the shock of the disciples who found Jesus’ tomb empty after his resurrection, and told Christians not to waste time responding to the good news they’ve been given.
“The announcements of God are always a surprise, because ours is a God of surprises,” the Pope said April 1, on Easter morning. “From the beginning of the history of salvation, from Abraham, who God tells to ‘go, get up and go to the land I send you to,’ there’s always one surprise after another.”
“God doesn’t know how to make an announcement, a proclamation without surprising us,” he said, “and that surprise moves your heart, it touches you. It happens when you don’t expect it.”
Francis also spoke of the haste with which the women and the disciples in John’s Gospel responded when they heard news of the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection, and he posed a question to those present for the Mass, asking “What about you?”
“What about me? Is my heart open to God’s surprises?” he said, urging Christians to ask themselves: “Am I able to go with great haste, or do I stay back and say, ‘I’ll go tomorrow’?”
Pope Francis celebrated Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square after presiding over the Easter Vigil inside the basilica the night before, bringing a close to the Easter Triduum and the events of Holy Week.
The altar during Mass was bedecked with some 50,000 flowers of different varieties, which were a gift from florists in Holland.
Though he usually sticks to his text during formal liturgies, Francis did not prepare a homily for Easter morning, and spoke to pilgrims in brief, off-the-cuff remarks. He did the same thing last year, meaning a spontaneous reflection Easter morning could be a new trend for the Argentine pope.
In his short homily, the pope focused on three aspects of the day’s Gospel passage from John, in which Peter and John run to the tomb after Mary Magdalene tells them she found it empty earlier that morning. The three aspects Pope Francis focused on were the surprise of the announcement, the haste with which the women and the disciples ran to the tomb, and the personal response of each.