World News

Apr 13, 2014 8:43 PM by Associated Press

Pope abandons homily, urges reflection

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has tossed aside his prepared homily on this Palm Sunday -- instead speaking entirely off-the-cuff to a crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square.

He called on people -- himself included -- to look into their own hearts to see how they are living their lives.

After listening to a Gospel account of how Jesus' disciples fell asleep shortly before he was betrayed by Judas, the pope asked, "Has my life fallen asleep?" He asked, "Where is my heart?" -- and said that's the question "which accompanies us" throughout Holy Week.

And then the pontiff helped some in the crowd take a look at themselves -- by hopping off his popemobile to pose for "selfies" with young people.

In a crowd of about 100,000 Romans, tourists and pilgrims, people held olive tree branches, palm fronds and palm leaves shaped like crosses that were blessed by Francis at the start of the ceremony.

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