“Faced with death, we are men and women of hope, not despair”

The Pope during Mass at the altar of the Chair of the Vatican Basilica

“Faced with death, we are men and women of hope, not despair”

Salvatore Cernuzio/ lastampa.it

Francis celebrates Mass at Saint Peter’s for the cardinals and bishops deceased during the year, “fellowship with the dead is not merely a desire or an illusion, but a reality”

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On the one hand “the way of life”, which “leads to communion with God”. On the other “the way of death”, which instead “leads far from Him”. It is a “crossroads” that even now, in this world, stands before us and that death makes “definitive”.

Francis recalled it during the homily of the Mass celebrated at the Altar of the “Cattedra” of the Vatican Basilica in suffrage of the cardinals and bishops who passed away during the year. And he affirms, “Yet awakening from death is not in itself a return to life: some will awake for eternal life, others for everlasting shame.”

The Pontiff commemorates the prelates and cardinals, “brothers” who “have left us after having served the Church and the people entrusted to them, in the prospect of eternity”. After giving thanks for their generous service, the Pope reminds us of “hope”: the hope that, the Apostle Paul repeated, “does not disappoint”. Truly, it does not disappoint,” Francis says,” God is faithful and our hope in him is not vain.” On the contrary, it is stronger than “sorrow for the loss of those who were dear and good to us.”

It is the “powerful hope in the resurrection of the just” mentioned in the first reading of the Mass, of “ Those who sleep in the dust of the earth are obviously the dead”. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” the Pope comments, “They are the multitude that, thanks to the goodness and mercy of God, can experience the life that does not pass away, the complete victory over death brought by the resurrection”.

“Jesus strengthens our hope” Francis continues. By partaking of his body and blood “we are united to his faithful love, which embraces his definitive victory of good over evil, suffering and death. By virtue of this divine bond of Christ’s charity, we know that our fellowship with the dead is not merely a desire or an illusion, but a reality”.

Pope Francis exhorts us to be “ men and woman of hope, not despair. This hope, rekindled in us by the word of God, helps us to be trusting in the face of death. the merciful love of the Father transfigures us and makes us live in eternal communion with him “ the Pope says. For this reason, the Christian lives in a sense of “anxious expectation” for the final encounter with God. A “watchful” expectation, Bergoglio concludes, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?”

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 19:45
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