This week we are celebrating Easter by providing some material from our brand new book by Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy. This book is available now, as of Easter Sunday.
Let’s allow Pope Francis to talk with us today:
In the Gospel of the Easter Vigil, we first meet the women who go to the tomb of Jesus with spices to anoint his body (see Luke 24:1–3). They go to perform an act of compassion, a traditional act of affection and love for a dear departed person, just as we would. They had followed Jesus, they had listened to his words, they had felt understood by him in their dignity, and they had accompanied him to the very end, to Calvary and to the moment when he was taken down from the cross. We can imagine their feelings as they make their way to the tomb: a certain sadness, a sorrow that Jesus has left them, that he died, that his life has come to an end. Life will now go on as before. Yet the women continue to feel love, the love for Jesus that now leads them to his tomb.
But at this point, something completely new and unexpected happens, something that upsets their hearts and their plans, something that will upset their whole life. They see the stone removed from before the tomb; they draw near, and they do not find the Lord’s body. It is an event that leaves them perplexed and hesitant, full of questions: “What happened?” “What is the meaning of all this?” (see Luke 24:4).
Doesn’t the same thing happen to us when something completely new occurs in our everyday life? We stop short, we don’t understand, we don’t know what to do. Newness often makes us fearful, including the newness God brings us, the newness God asks of us. We are like the apostles in the Gospel: often we would prefer to hold on to our own security, to stand in front of a tomb, to think about someone who has died, someone who ultimately lives on only as a memory, like the great historical figures from the past. We are afraid of God’s surprises. Dear brothers and sisters, we are afraid of God’s surprises! He always surprises us! The Lord is like that.
—from Pope Francis’s homily for the Easter Vigil 2013,
excerpted from The Church of Mercy
What are your thoughts, DDF community, on newness and our response to it?
Special offer: Buy two paperback copies of The Church of Mercy from Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com, and Loyola Press will send you a third copy for free. Details here.