“Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.”
Pope Francis said: “Let us go to Galilee, where the Risen Lord has gone ahead of us. Yet what does it mean ‘to go to Galilee?’”
The pope then explained that “going to Galilee” can mean setting out on new paths, beginning anew, and going out to the peripheries.
“Galilee was an outpost: the people living in that diverse and disparate region were those farthest from the ritual purity of Jerusalem. Yet that is where Jesus began his mission. There he brought his message to those struggling to live from day to day … the excluded, the vulnerable and the poor,” he said.
“There he brought the face and presence of God, who tirelessly seeks out those who are discouraged or lost, who goes to the very peripheries of existence, since in his eyes no one is least, no one is excluded.”
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Pope Francis said that he thinks many people today view the Catholic faith as a thing of the past or “lovely childhood memories” that no longer influence their daily lives.
“God cannot be filed away among our childhood memories, but is alive and filled with surprises. Risen from the dead, Jesus never ceases to amaze us,” he said.
Pope Francis continued: “Jesus is not outdated. He is alive here and now. He walks beside you each day, in every situation you are experiencing, in every trial you have to endure, in your deepest hopes and dreams. … Even if you feel that all is lost, please, let yourself be open to amazement at the newness Jesus brings: He will surely surprise you.”
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.