Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Ask for the grace to die
at home, dying in the Church;
ask for the grace to die in hope, with hope, and ask for the grace to leave a great legacy,
a human legacy, a legacy of witness to our Christian life". This is the lesson that Pope Francis drew from
the Biblical passage that
recounts the death of King David,
at Mass celebrated this morning in Casa
The Pope, Vatican Radio reports, emphasized three things: First, that David dies "among his people". He lives his "belonging to the People of God" right to the very end. He had sinned: he calls himself a 'sinner', but he never left the people of God!".
"Sinner yes, no traitor! And this is a grace: to remain with the People of God until the end. Having the grace to die within the Church, among the People of God, and this is the first point that I would like to emphasize. For us too, to seek the grace to die at home. To die at home, in the Church. And this is a grace! This can not be bought! It is a gift from God and we have to ask for it: 'Lord, grant that I may die at home, in the Church! ' . Sinners, yes, all of us, we all are! But not traitors! Not corrupt! Always within [the Church]! And the Church is such a Mother, that she wants us just as we are, often dirty, but the Church cleans us: she is our Mother".
Secondly: David dies "quiet , peaceful, serene" in the certainty of going "to the other side to be with his" fathers. "This - says Pope Francis - is another grace: the grace to die in hope, knowing" that "there are people waiting for us on the other side; the home, the family continues on the other side", that we are not alone . " And this is a grace that we must ask for - he noted - so that in the last moments of life, we know that life is a struggle and the spirit of evil wants his reward".
"Saint Therese of the Child Jesus said that, in her last days, there was a struggle in her soul, and when she thought about the future, about what awaited her after death, in heaven, she heard a voice saying: 'but no, do not be silly there is nothing waiting for you but the darkness. We expect only the darkness of nothing!'. That's what she said. It was the voice of the devil, the devil, who did not want her to entrust to God in hope and die, die trusting in God! Or ask for this grace. But trusting in God begins now, in the little things of life, as well as with great problems: always trust the Lord and so one takes this habit of trusting in the Lord and growing in hope. To die at home, to die in hope".
The third consideration is the legacy that David leaves. There are "many scandals over inheritances" - the Pope said - "scandals among families, [scandals] that divide". David, on the other hand, "left the heritage of 40 years of government" and "a consolidated, strong people". "A popular saying - he continued - says that in his lifetime every man must leave behind a child, must plant a tree and must write a book, which this is the best inheritance". The Pope said we should ask ourselves: "What legacy will I leave to those who come after me ? A legacy of life? Have I done so much good that people love me like a father or mother? Did I plant a tree? Did I give life, wisdom? Did I write a book?" . David leaves this legacy to his son, he tells him: "You be strong and a man. Obey the law of the Lord, your God, proceeding in His ways, and according to His laws!".
"This is the legacy: our witness as Christians left to others. And some of us leave a great legacy: we think of the saints who lived the Gospel with such strength that they leave us a path of life and a way of living as our inheritance. Here are the three things that come to my heart reading this piece on the death of David: ask for the grace to die at home, to die in the Church; ask for the grace to die in hope, with hope, and ask for the grace to leave a beautiful legacy, human legacy, a legacy made by the witness of our Christian life. May St. David's grant us all three".