09/26/2010, 00.00
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Pope: Follow God’s path in life, it will be too late to repent after death

Commenting on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus at the Angelus,, Benedict XVI emphasizes two things: the first that God loves the poor and raises them from humiliation and the second is that our eternal destiny is influenced by our behaviour. "

Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - Follow God’s path in life because it will be too late to repent after death, "on Judgement Day God will level all injustice in the world. He will judge the rich and the poor according to the principle of love”. This was Pope Benedict XVI’s warning Sunday to 4 thousand people present at Castel Gandolfo to pray the Angelus, the last that will take place in the Lazio village before the Pope returns to the Vatican at the end of his period of rest next Friday.

Inspired by the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in today's Gospel, Benedict XVI told the people in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace that "the first lives in luxury and selfishness, and when he dies, ends up in hell. Instead the poor man, who eats the leftovers from the table of the rich, on his death, is carried by angels to the eternal abode of God and the saints. Blessed are you who are poor, - the Lord had proclaimed to his disciples - for the kingdom of God is yours' (Lk 6:20). But the message of the parable goes further: it reminds us that while we are in this world, we must listen to the Lord who speaks through the Scriptures and live by his will, or, after death, it will be too late to repent. So this story tells us two things: the first is that God loves the poor and raises them from humiliation and the second is that our eternal destiny is determined by our behaviour, it is up to us to follow the path God has shown us to come to life, and this path is love, understood not as a sentiment, but as service to others in the love of Christ. "

Later in comments to Polish pilgrims present, the Pope said the parable "reminds us that on Judgement Day God will level every injustice in the world. He will judge the rich and the poor according to the principle of love. He will right the wrongs and misfortunes. May our hearts be imbued with the spirit of solidarity with those in need. May we cooperate with God in the multiplication of love on earth".  "The love of God must be the measure of our actions," he added in German.

Shortly before, the Pope had stressed that it is "a happy coincidence that tomorrow we celebrate the feast of St. Vincent de 'Paul, patron of Catholic charitable organizations, marking the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his death. In the France of the sixteenth century, he touched his hand with the sharp contrast between the richest and the poorest "and" knew how to organize stable forms of service to marginalized people, giving rise to so-called "Charitées", the "Charities", ie women's groups who put their time and their assets at the disposal of the most marginalized”.

"Only Love with the capital" L "- he concluded - brings true happiness! This is also seen in the witness of another young woman beatified yesterday in Rome. I speak of Chiara Badano, an Italian girl born in 1971, who died from disease in less than 19 years, but who was a ray of light for all, as is revealed by her nickname: Clear Light. Dear friends, her parish, the diocese of Acqui Terme and the Focolare Movement, to which she belonged, are celebrating today – it is a celebration for all young people so they may find in her an example of Christian integrity. Her last words, full adherence to God's will, were: 'Goodbye mother, be happy, because I am”. Let us give praise to God because his love is stronger than evil and death, and thank the Virgin Mary who leads young people through difficulties and suffering, to fall in love with Jesus and discover the beauty of life".

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