“You see that today there are flowers: flowers that speak of joy and gladness,” Pope Francis said on April 4, 2018. “In some places, Easter is also called ‘flowering Easter,’ because the Risen Christ flowers: he is the new flower; our justification flowers, the holiness of the Church flowers. Therefore, many flowers — it’s our joy.”
The Holy Father’s comments came during his Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, which drew thousands of the faithful from Italy and around the world. During the audience he concluded the series of catecheses on the Holy Mass, focusing his meditation on the Rites of Conclusion.
The Pope reminded the audience that the Mass is not presented just as a memory, but an event in which the Passion and Resurrection of Christ are relived. And the service begins — and ends — with the sign of the cross.
“However, we know well that while the Mass finishes, the commitment opens to Christian witness,” Francis explained. “Christians don’t go to Mass to carry out a weekly task and then forget, no. Christians go to Mass to take part in the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord and then to live more as Christians: the commitment of Christian witness opens.”
To “go in peace” means to bring the blessings of God into our daily lives, the Pope continued: in daily activities, our homes, workplaces, “among the occupation of the earthly city”.
“Every time I go out of the Mass, I must leave better than I entered, with more life, with more strength, with a greater desire to give Christian witness,” the Pope said. “Through the Eucharist, the Lord Jesus enters in us, in our heart and in our flesh, so that we can ‘express in life the Sacrament received in faith’ (Messale Romano, Collect of Monday of the Octave of Easter).”
The Pope explained that Christians celebrates the Eucharist “to learn to become Eucharistic men and women…to let Christ act in our works: that His thoughts be our thoughts, His sentiments ours, His choices our choices.”
The Holy Father compared the Mass to a grain of wheat, which is grown by the faithful in everyday life: “…it grows and matures in good works, in attitudes that make us similar to Jesus”.
“Therefore, the fruits of the Mass are destined to mature in everyday life…in truth, enhancing our union with Christ, the Eucharist updates the grace that the Spirit gave us in Baptism and in Confirmation so that our Christian witness is credible (Cf. Ibid., 1391-1392).”