For each of us, too, there is a “Galilee” at the origin of our journey with Jesus….In the life of every Christian, after baptism there is also another “Galilee”, a more existential “Galilee”: the experience of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ who called me to follow him and to share in his mission. In this sense, returning to Galilee means treasuring in my heart the living memory of that call, when Jesus passed my way, gazed at me with mercy and asked me to follow him. To return there means reviving the memory of that moment when his eyes met mine, the moment when he made me realize that he loved me….The Gospel is very clear: we need to go back there, to see Jesus risen, and to become witnesses of his resurrection. This is not to go back in time; it is not a kind of nostalgia. It is returning to our first love, in order to receive the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people, to the very ends of the earth. Go back to Galilee, without fear!… Let us be on our way!
The above quote is an excerpt from Pope Francis’ Easter Vigil homily. I was struck by the phrase, “returning to our first love, in order to receive the fire…” How often, as human beings, we become complacent, take things for granted, and lose our first love. Let us go back to the ‘Galilee’ moment or moments in our lives, when we’ve encountered the Lord and heard His call. We don’t pine nostalgically for the past, but rather remember why we are Christian and why we have dropped our nets.
In doing so we can rediscover the source of our joy: Christ is risen! The tomb is empty. The hope of salvation has been restored, and we find it in the person of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!
Don’t be surprised if this quote pops up on the blog again; much can be gleaned from our Holy Father’s wisdom, particularly in this Easter season.
The entire homily can be accessed here.