04/27/2018, 17.35
VATICAN
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Pope: Heaven is the encounter with Jesus who is ‘praying for me’

“So, what is Heaven?'. This is where answers start to be shaky; we do not know how to say 'what is Heaven’. So many times, we think of an abstract sky, a faraway sky, a sky ... yes, [where] it feels good to be . . . Some think: 'But, won’t it be a bit boring to be there, for all eternity?' No! That is not Heaven. We walk towards an encounter: the final encounter with Jesus. Heaven is the encounter with Jesus."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta this morning, Pope Francis said that Heaven is the encounter with Jesus who is “praying for me”.

The Holy Father drew his inspiration from the Acts of the Apostles, which reproduces Paul’s speech in the synagogue at Antioch where he said that the people of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognise Jesus and condemned him, but after his death he was resurrected. "We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our fathers he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.”

"We too are moving along the path: we are on the path. We are on the path . . . When we ask this question – 'Yes, on the path, but on the path to where?' – 'Yes, to Heaven!' - So, what is Heaven?'. This is where the answers start to be shaky; we do not know how to say 'what is Heaven’. So many times, we think of an abstract Heaven, a faraway Heaven, a Heaven ... yes, [where] it feels good to be . . . Some think, 'But, won’t it be a bit boring to be there, for all eternity?' No! That is not Heaven. We walk towards an encounter: the final encounter with Jesus. Heaven is the encounter with Jesus."

“We must,” Francis said, “come back to this thought: ‘I am moving along in life to encounter Jesus". This encounter will give us enjoyment forever. But "what does Jesus do in the meantime? He is not sitting waiting for me but. As the Gospel says, he is working for us. In fact, he himself said: 'Have faith in me' and 'I'm going to prepare you a place'. 'And what is Jesus’s work? Intercession. The prayer of intercession’.” "Jesus prays for me, for each of us. But we must repeat this to convince ourselves. He is faithful and He prays for me. Right now."

At the Last Supper, Jesus promised Peter: ‘I shall pray for you. What he told Peter, he is telling all of us: I am praying for you.’ And each of us must say: ‘Jesus is praying for me, working to prepare me a place.’ He is faithful. He does so because he has promised it. Heaven will be this encounter, this encounter with the Lord who went ahead to prepare a place for each of us. This gives us confidence, boosts our confidence.”

Jesus is the priestly intercessor, until the end of the world. “May the Lord give us the awareness of walking along a path with this promise. May the Lord give us the grace to look upwards towards Heaven and think: ‘The Lord is praying for me.’”

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