POPE FRANCIS ON 2018 EASTER SUNDAY:
“GOD’S SURPRISES DEMAND AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE.”
(VATICANNEWS.VA April 1, 2018) Speaking off the cuff the Pope said that he was moved to say three things inspired by the Gospel proclamation.
In his homily during the Easter Sunday liturgy in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis says that God surprises the women with a proclamation which became a greeting in the early Church: “The Lord is risen!”
God surprises us
The women had gone to anoint the Lord’s body and instead found themselves standing before a surprise. When God announces something it is always a surprise because God is a God of surprises, Pope Francis said.
It has been that way from the beginning of the story of salvation with Abraham: one surprise after another. God does not know how to make an announcement without surprising us. Surprise moves our hearts and touches us where we do not expect.
Responding quickly to God’s surprises
The second thought is the haste of the women. God’s surprises demand an immediate response. Peter and John ran to the tomb. The shepherds on the night when Christ was born ran to see what the angel had revealed to them. The Samaritan woman also ran to say to her people, “this is something entirely new. I have met a man who has told me everything that I have done—and the people knew what she had done,“ Pope Francis said. Andrew did not waste time to go to Peter to say that he had found the Messiah. People leave whatever they are doing— “the housewife leaves her potatos in the pot. Sure they will be burned, but the important thing is to see the manifestation of the proclamation.”
The Pope added that there is one person in the Gospel who takes his time, who does not want to take a risk. This is Thomas. But the good Lord waited for him in the same way that he waits patiently for those people who do not get up and respond to the surprise announcement right away.
What about me?
Pope Francis’ third thought is a question. What about me? “Do I have a heart open to God’s surprises?” Am I am able to go quickly, or do I always hang back and excuse myself until tomorrow.
“What does a surprise say to me?” Pope Francis asks. John and Peter ran to the tomb and the Gospel says they believe. Pope Francis says that Peter’s belief was “a bit mixed with remorse for having denied the Lord.”
The Pope concluded his homily saying that now it is our turn to ask “what about me today in this Easter 2018. What about you?”