AN EASTER MESSAGE FROM POPE FRANCIS

When everyone thought that the final word had been spoken, God suddenly breaks in, upsets all the rules and offers new possibilities. This is God's surprise for his faithful people: "Rejoice! Hidden within your life is a seed of resurrection, an offer of life ready to be awakened."

That is what this day calls us to proclaim: The heartbeat of the Risen Lord. Christ is alive! That is what quickened the pace of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. That is what made them return in haste to tell the news (Mt 28:8). That is what made them lay aside their mournful gait and sad looks. They returned to the city to meet up with the others.

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Now that, like the two women, we have visited the tomb, I ask you to go back with them to the city. Let us all retrace our steps and change the look on our faces. Let us go back with them to tell the new in all those places where the grave seems to have the final word, where death seems the only way out. Let us go back to proclaim, to share, to reveal that it is true: The Lord is alive! He is living and he wants to rise again in all those who have buried hope, buried dreams, buried dignity. If we cannot let the Spirit lead us on this road, then we are not truly Christians.

Let us allow ourselves then to be surprised by this new dawn and by the newness that Christ alone can give. Let us allow his tenderness and his love to guide our steps. Let us allow the beating of his heart to quicken our faintness of heart.