Vatican City, 10 November 2013 (VIS) - “With Jesus, our pilgrimage goes beyond death towards life”, said Pope Francis this morning, as he appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Holy Father, as is customary, commented on today's gospel which narrates Jesus' encounter with the Sadduccees, a sect who denied resurrection and, in order to ridicule this belief, asked Jesus which of a woman's seven husbands she would be wife to in the hereafter.
“Jesus, always docile and patient, first answered that life after death did not have the same parameters as earthly life”, explained the Pontiff. “Eternal life is another life, in another dimension in which, besides, there will no longer be marriage, which is linked to our existence in this world. The resurrected, Jesus explained, will be like angels, and will live in different state, which we cannot now experience or imagine. But he then goes on to counter-attack, so to speak, quoting the Sacred Scriptures, with a simplicity and originality that leave us full of admiration for our Master … and finds the proof of resurrection in the episode of Moses and the burning bush, where God reveals himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”.
“The name of God is united with those of the men and women who join with Him, and this bond is stronger than death. And we can say: He is our God! … As if He bore our name. It pleases Him to say is, and this is the covenant. This is why Jesus affirmed, 'He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to Him all are alive'. And this is the decisive bond, the fundamental covenant, the covenant with Jesus: He Himself is the Covenant, He Himself is Life and Resurrection, as it is His love on the Cross that vanquishes death. In Jesus, God gives us eternal life, He gives it to everyone, and thanks to Him, everyone has the hope of a life truer than this one”.
The life God prepares for us “is not a simple embellishment to our current lives: it exceeds our imagination, because God continually astonishes us with His love and with His mercy”. Therefore, “It is not this life that is a reference to eternity, to that which awaits us, but rather it is eternity that illuminates and gives hope to the earthly life of each one of us! From a solely human point of view, we are inclined to say that the path of humanity leads from life to death. … But this is only when seen from a human eye. Jesus turns this perspective around and affirms that our pilgrimage is from death to life: full life!”
Therefore, “death lies behind us, not ahead of us. Before us there is the God of the living, the God of the Covenant, the God Who bears my name, our name. … It is the definitive defeat of sin and death, the beginning of a new time of joy and of endless light. But already on this earth, in prayer, in the Sacraments, in brotherliness, we encounter Jesus and His love, and in this way we have a foretaste of life after resurrection. The experience we have of His love and His faithfulness ignite like a flame in our heart and nurture our faith in resurrection. Indeed, God is faithful and loves, not just for a limited time, but for ever! Faith is eternal, it cannot change. God's love is eternal, it cannot change! And it goes forward! He is faithful forever, and awaits us, each one of us; He accompanies every one of us with this eternal fidelity”.