“If each of us is faithful to the Lord, when death comes, we shall say as Francis said, 'sister death, come' ... We are not scared. And when the day of judgment comes, we shall look to the Lord: 'Lord, I have so many sins, but I tried to be faithful'. And the Lord is good.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis celebrated Mass this morning at Santa Marta House. During the service he said that if we are loyal to God, we will not be afraid when we die.
The pontiff spoke about Jesus’ words about not being deceived (Luke 21.5 to 11) and the Church’s reflection in the last week of the Liturgical Year.
He warned against the alienation of living "as if we should never die". Instead, he called upon us to think about the "traces our life leaves."
"A call from the Lord to think seriously at the end, [. . .] the end of each of us, since everyone will have his or her end. [. . .] We might not like to think about these things, but there is the truth. [. . .] When one of us is gone, years will pass, and hardly anyone will remember us."
“I have an agenda," Francis said, "in which I write when a person dies" and each day I see this "event" and "how time goes by. [. . .] This forces us” to think about what we leave, about the "traces" of our life.
After the end, as today’s page from the Apocalypse of John says, there will be a day of judgment for each of us. "It will do us good to think about how that day will be when I will be in front of Jesus, when He will ask me about the talents he gave me, about what I did with them, when He will ask me how my heart was when the seed fell, like a journey or as thorns: the Parables of the Kingdom of God. How did I receive the Word? With an open heart? Did I nurture it for everyone’s good or did I do it covertly?"
Quoting from the Gospel of Luke about not being deceived, the pope warned that each of us will come before Jesus on Judgment Day. The deception he speaks of is the ' "alienation", "estrangement", the deception of the "things that are superficial," which "have no transcendence", the "deception of living as if we should never die. [. . .] When the Lord comes", he asks, "how will he find me? Waiting or in the midst of so many of life’s alienations?”
"I remember that when I was a child, when I went to catechism, we were taught four things: death, judgment, hell or glory. After the judgment there is this possibility. 'But, Father, this is to scare us . . . '. – 'No, it is the truth! Because if you do not treat your heart, so that the Lord is with you, and you always live away from the Lord, there is perhaps the danger, the danger of going on like this, distant for eternity from the Lord.’ This is very ugly!”
In order to escape from the fear of that moment, Francis suggested again today's reading from Apocalypse of John. This is the Apostle's advice: "Remain faithful until death,” said the Lord, “and I will give you the crown of life."
"Faithfulness to the Lord will not let you down. If each of us is faithful to the Lord, when death comes, we shall say as Francis said, 'sister death, come'. . . We are not scared. And when the day of judgment comes, we shall look to the Lord: 'Lord, I have so many sins, but I have tried to be faithful'. And the Lord is good. I shall give you this advice: ‘Remain faithful until death,” said the Lord, “and I will give you the crown of life.’ With this loyalty we shall not be afraid of the end, when our end comes, we shall not fear the day of judgment."