Pope Francis: ‘The Lord always surprises us’

Courtney Mares   By Courtney Mares for CNA


Children participating in a Catholic Action initiative helped to release colorful balloons at the end of the Angelus on Jan. 30, 2022. / Vatican Media

Vatican City, Jan 30, 2022 / 08:30 am (CNA).

Pope Francis encouraged people Sunday to be open to the newness Jesus wants to bring in their daily lives and to cultivate the capacity to wonder.

“The Lord always surprises us. This is the beauty of an encounter with Jesus,” Pope Francis said Jan. 30.

“The Lord asks us for an open mind and a simple heart. May Our Lady, model of humility and willingness, show us the way to welcome Jesus.”

Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter’s Square, the pope told the crowd gathered below that “it takes humility to encounter God” and to “let ourselves be encountered by Him.”

“Jesus asks you to accept him in the daily reality that you live; in the Church of today, as it is; in those who are close to you every day; in the reality of those in need, in the problems of your family, in your parents, in your children, in grandparents, in welcoming God there,” he said.

The pope added that it is foolish for someone to think that just by studying theology or taking catechesis classes one can “know everything about Jesus.”

“Perhaps, after many years as believers, we think we know the Lord well, with our ideas and our judgments, very often. The risk is that we get accustomed, we get used to Jesus,” he said.

“And in this way, how do we grow accustomed? We close ourselves off, we close ourselves off to his newness, to the moment in which he knocks on our door and asks you something new, and wants to enter into you. We must stop being fixed in our positions.”

After praying the Angelus prayer in Latin with the crowd, the pope greeted a group of children participating in the “Caravan of Peace” organized by Catholic Action, who released colorful balloons into the sky.

As he watched the balloons ascend, Pope Francis said: “It is a sign of hope that the young people of Rome are bringing to us today.”

The pope extended greetings to those in East Asia and other parts of the world who will celebrate the Lunar New Year on February 1.

“How beautiful it is when families find opportunities to gather together and experience moments of love and joy,” he said.

“Many families, unfortunately, will not be able to get together this year because of the pandemic. I hope that we will soon be able to overcome the ordeal.”

Pope Francis also highlighted World Leprosy Day, which occurs each year on the last Sunday of January. He appealed for both spiritual and medical assistance for those suffering from leprosy, officially called Hansen’s Disease.

“It is necessary to work together towards the full integration of these people, overcoming every form of discrimination associated with a sickness that unfortunately still afflicts many people, especially in the most disadvantaged social contexts,” he said.

The pope extended a special greeting to all Salesian priests and religious on the eve of the feast of Saint John Bosco, adding that he had followed the Mass offered in the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin, Italy.

“We think of this great saint, father and teacher of the young. He did not shut himself up in the sacristy. He did not close himself off in his own things. He went out into the streets to look for young people, with the creativity that was his hallmark,” Pope Francis said.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 6553 Articles
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)


  1. Christ was willing to lose most of His followers over His teaching about the Eucharist. He never changed His teaching. How can a person who doesn’t know their faith ever defend it or give competent and truthful evangelization? There is such a thing as spiritual unilateral disarmament, lambs to the slaughter.
    The faith is not our personal, private plaything to do with as we please. It is something that is entrusted to us to faithfully transmit to the next generation. King Solomon was very open to his foreign wives. It led to his downfall and the division of his kingdom. King Solomon’s great wisdom didn’t keep him from a fall from grace. To me the Protestant Reformation/Revolt is very similar to what happened to King Solomon.

  2. His “God of surprises” is his contrived way of affirming his entire faithless belief system. To deny unchanging immutable truth, as he has throughout his life, sometimes forthrightly, sometimes smugly by reducing apologists of Catholic truth to caricatured “know it alls” whom he gleefully insults, Francis insults and diminishes God in the process. He places his faith not on divinely endowed principles natural to our being but in the momentum of history, oblivious to its corruptions, like any original sin denying believing Marxist, and currently the tides of history favor the globalist elitism that will bring about a utopian “reset.”
    Catholics finally figuring him out have been trying to “surprise” Francis by boycotting Peter’s Pence, only a temporary irritant to Francis when he has Soros and Chinese money to prop up his most corrupt pontificate in history that is remaking the Church into a tool of surrender to the principalities it was created by God to stand opposed.

  3. We suppose he believes it since he says it: “The Lord always surprises us.” He speaks for himself; he does not speak on behalf of Jesus; he does not speak on behalf of the Catholic faith.

    God REVEALS and COMMUNICATES Himself. Through His grace, we have all we need to believe and achieve the Promise He has made. Nothing new here. No surprise. God provides us with theological virtues of hope/trust/confidence, faith and love. No surprises there. We have all we need to rest in His peace, promise and truth. No surprises are to be found within His providence.

    With prayer for prelates in search of something they’ve apparently lost or perhaps never possessed.

  4. Rainbow balloons, freedom from being mired in theology, the ever surprising god of wonderment. Who needs that tired old narrow path? We have the gloriously wide Synodal Way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.