‘The resurrection is not a fantasy,’ Pope Francis insists on Easter Sunday

(Crux) In vintage Pope Francis style, the pontiff broke with tradition and delivered an off-the-cuff homily for Easter Sunday, one of the very few improvised speeches in such a solemn setting from a pope who’s used to putting his prepared remarks aside to speak from the heart on more informal occasions.

“Jesus has risen from the dead,” Francis said. “And this is not a fantasy. It’s not a celebration with many flowers [pointing at the arrangements surrounding him]. This is beautiful, but [the resurrection] is more.”

“It is the mystery of the thrown-away stone, that ends up being the cornerstone of our existence. Christ has risen from the dead. In this throwaway culture, where that which is not useful takes the path of the use-and-throw, where that which is not useful is discarded, that stone that was discarded is the fountain of life,” he said.

And even “us, little pebbles,” who’ve been thrown in an earth full of “suffering, tragedy,” with faith in the risen Christ, “have a reason for being, amidst so much calamity. A sense to look beyond: There is not a wall, but a horizon. There’s life, joy, in there is the cross with this ambivalence.”

The pope began his remarks saying that the Church, facing “our distrust, [and] closed and fearful hearts,” continues to say, “calm down, the Lord has risen.”

But, he continued, if he has come back from the dead, “how do these things happen, so many tragedies: illnesses, human trafficking, human exploitation, wars, destruction, mutilations, vengeance, hatred?” [More]

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Crux