On the day when the Church remembers and prays for all deceased believers, Francis celebrated a holy mass in St. Peter’s Basilica as a sign of suffrage for the cardinals and bishops who died during the year. In his sermon, focused on the anticipation of meeting the Lord, he urged us not to lose sight of the “meaning of the journey” and to live deeply lovingly, without allowing ourselves to be distracted by superfluous things.
Cecilia Mutual – Vatican News
“Let’s meet God loving because He is love”. With these words, the Pope indicated how to live in anticipation of meeting the Lord, presiding on the morning of Wednesday, November 2, at the holy mass of the election for the cardinals and bishops who died during the year, at the altar of the Cathedral. Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Francis began his homily by focusing on two words that the readings in the liturgy of the word evoked in him: expectation and surprise.
Anticipation expresses the meaning of life, because we live in anticipation of an encounter: an encounter with God, which is the reason for our intercessory prayer today, especially for the cardinals and bishops who died during the past year, for whom we offer this Eucharistic Sacrifice in suffrage
Don’t lose sight of what counts
“We all live in anticipation,” hoping that one day we will hear those words of Jesus: “Come, blessed of my Father,” said the Pope. “We are in the world’s waiting room to enter heaven,” he added, inviting us to cherish our anticipation of heaven, to realize our desire for heaven and to ask ourselves today if our desires have anything to do with heaven.
Because we run the risk of constantly striving for things that are happening, of confusing desires with needs, of putting the world’s expectations before God’s. But to lose sight of what counts in chasing the wind would be life’s biggest mistake. Let’s look up, because we are going up, until the things from here down there will not go there: the greatest careers, the greatest successes, the most prestigious titles and recognitions, accumulated wealth and earthly gains, everything in which the moment will disappear, everything. And all the expectations set for them will be forever disappointed.
And yet, the Pope remarked, how much time, how much effort and energy we spend worrying and grieving about these things, “letting the tension towards home disappear, losing sight of the meaning of the journey!” Therefore, he invited everyone to ask themselves if they are living what he says Belief: “Am I waiting for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come? Do I go to the essentials or am I distracted by so many superfluous things?
Surprise before the Lord
The second word, “surprise”, comes from the 25th chapter of Matthew and “is similar to that of the protagonist” of the Gospel, the Pope confirmed, every time they ask the Lord when they helped him. “Thus is expressed the surprise of all, the astonishment of the righteous and the astonishment of the unrighteous.”
When? We can also say: we would hope that the trial of life and the world will take place under the banner of justice, before a decisive court that, examining all elements, will shed light on situations and intentions forever. On the other hand, in the divine judgment, the only line of merit and accusation is mercy towards the poor and the rejected: “Whatever they did to one of the least of these my brothers, they did to me”, judges Jesus (v40). . The Most High dwells in the smallest, he who dwells in the heavens dwells among the least in the world. What a surprise!
Love “to the bottom” like Jesus
“But the trial will take place in this way because it will be Jesus, the God of humble love, the one who, born and died poor, lived as a servant”, assured the Pope. “His measure is love that surpasses our measure, and his criterion of judgment is gratuity.” Hence his invitation to prepare ourselves and to “kiss freely and deeply, without expecting reciprocity”. And a warning not to let ourselves be surprised:
Let’s be careful not to sweeten the taste of the Gospel. Because often, for the sake of comfort or comfort, we tend to soften the message of Jesus, dilute his words. Let’s face it, we’ve gotten pretty good at compromising the Gospel: feed the hungry yes, but the issue of hunger is complex and I certainly can’t solve it. Helping the poor, yes, but injustices need to be faced in a certain way and then it is better to wait, because if you stand up, you risk being constantly harassed and you might realize that you could have done better. Being close to the sick and prisoners, yes, but there are other pressing issues on the front pages of newspapers and on social media, so why should I be interested in them? Welcoming immigrants yes, but it is a complicated general issue, it has to do with politics… And so, through but, we make life a commitment to the Gospel.
A Christian’s program is a seeing heart
In this way, the Pope pointed out, “from simple disciples of the Master we become masters of complexity, who discuss a lot and do little, who look for answers more in front of the computer than in front of the crucifix, on the Internet more than in the eyes of the brothers” and we forget that “the Christian’s program the heart that sees” (Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est, 31). And to the question of the righteous and the unrighteous, the Pope, surprised, answered:
There is only one answer: when is now. It is in our hands, in our acts of mercy: not in clarifications and refined analyses, not in individual or social justifications. In our hands and we are responsible. Today, the Lord reminds us that death comes to make the truth about life and removes all the reliefs of mercy.
“We cannot say that we do not know,” concluded the Holy Father. “The Gospel explains how to live while waiting: we go to meet God by loving because He is love. And on the day of farewell, the surprise will be happy if we now allow ourselves to be surprised by the presence of God, who is waiting for us among the poor and wounded of the world”.