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  • » 11/03/2017, 13.21


    Pope: Even in the face of death, the Christian remains "a man of hope"

    At Mass in suffrage of the cardinals and bishops who died during the year, Francis recalls that "the awakening from death is not in itself a return to life": "many" will awaken. “Yet awakening from death is not in itself a return to life: some will awake for eternal life, others for everlasting shame.  Death makes definitive the “crossroads” which even now, in this world, stands before us: the way of life, with God, or the way of death, far from him”.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Faith in the Resurrection leads the Christian to be a "man , while others can expect "eternal shame", Pope Francis those gathered for Mass celebrated this morning in St. Peter's Basilica in the suffrage of the cardinals and bishops who died during the year.

    "Today's celebration - said Francis - once more sets before us the reality of death.  It renews our sorrow for the loss of those who were dear and good to us.  Yet, more importantly, the liturgy increases our hope for them and for ourselves. "

    The Pope then pointed to the First Reading, where it says, " Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:2).  Those who sleep in the dust of the earth are obviously the dead.  Yet awakening from death is not in itself a return to life: some will awake for eternal life, others for everlasting shame.  Death makes definitive the “crossroads” which even now, in this world, stands before us: the way of life, with God, or the way of death, far from him.  The “many” who will rise for eternal life are to be understood as the “many” for whom the blood of Christ was shed.  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. "

    "In the Gospel, Jesus strengthens our hope by saying: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  Whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:51).  These words evoke Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  He accepted death in order to save those whom the Father had given him, who were dead in the slavery of sin.  Jesus became our brother and shared our human condition even unto death.  By his love, he shattered the yoke of death and opened to us the doors of life.  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."

    "The faith we profess in the resurrection makes us men and woman of hope, not despair, men and women of life, not death, for we are comforted by the promise of eternal life, grounded in our union with the risen Christ. This hope, rekindled in us by the word of God, helps us to be trusting in the face of death.  Jesus has shown us that death is not the last word; rather, the merciful love of the Father transfigures us and makes us live in eternal communion with him.  A fundamental mark of the Christian is a sense of anxious expectation of our final encounter with God.  We reaffirmed it just now in the responsorial psalm: “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When shall I come and behold the face of God?” (Ps 42:2).  These poetic words poignantly convey our watchful and expectant yearning for God’s love, beauty, happiness, and wisdom.  These same words of the psalm were impressed on the souls of our brother cardinals and bishops whom we remember today.  They left us after having served the Church and the people entrusted to them in the prospect of eternity.  As we now give thanks for their generous service to the Gospel and the Church, we seem to hear them repeat with the apostle: “Hope does not disappoint” (Rom 5:5).  Truly, it does not disappoint!  God is faithful and our hope in him is not vain.  Let us invoke for them the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy, that they may share in the eternal banquet of which, with faith and love, they had a foretaste in the course of their earthly pilgrimage."

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    See also

    17/11/2017 14:19:00 VATICAN
    Pope: It is good to think every day when that 'the Lord will call me'

    For some this call will be sudden, for others after a long illness, we do not know. But "the call will be there!" And it will be a surprise, but then there will be the other surprise of the Lord: eternal life. For this reason, "the Church in these days tells us: stop a little, stop and think about death."

    18/10/2017 14:07:00 VATICAN
    Pope says for believers “death is a door wide open” for doubters “it is a flickering light”

    Christian hope and the reality of death was the theme of catechesis for the general audience. "I invite you now, perhaps, to close your eyes and to think of that moment: of our death. Let us each think of our own death, and imagine the moment that will come when Jesus takes us by the hand and will say, 'Come, come with me, arise.' There hope will end and reality begins, the reality of life."

    04/11/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: the devil is powerless against the union of love between Jesus and those who welcome him with faith
    Francis says Mass for cardinals and bishops who died during the year. "Only human sin can break this bond, but even in this case God will always go in search for him to restore that union that lasts even after death."

    03/11/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: "We are all invited to enter" the death and resurrection of Jesus, "the foundation, the rock" of our faith
    Francis celebrates Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year. "This is what the Apostle Paul preached: the crucified and risen Christ. If He is not risen, our faith is empty and insubstantial. But because He is risen, indeed, He is the Resurrection, then our faith is full of truth and eternal life".

    04/11/2016 15:03:00 VATICAN
    Pope: In the Paschal Mystery of Christ, death is, in fact, the entry into the fullness of life

    At the Mass in suffrage of the cardinals and bishops who died this year, Pope Francis recalls the root of their commitment to the Church, "the faith in the love of Christ, from which nothing can separate us." "Some of them were called to bear witness to the Gospel in a heroic manner, sustaining heavy tribulations".

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