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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Francis celebrates Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops

Vatican City, 2 November 2015 (VIS) - This morning in St. Peter's Basilica the Holy Father presided at Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during this last year. “In this earth they loved their bride the Church, and we pray that in God they may enjoy full joy in the communion of saints”, he said. “As we ask for that they be rewarded as 'good and faithful servants', we are called up to renew our decision to serve the Church. … Those who serve and give may be seen to 'lose' in the eyes of the world, but in reality, losing life, they rediscover it. A life given away in love, imitates Christ: it defeats death and gives life to the world. He who serves, saves. On the contrary, he who does not live to serve, does not serve to live”.

“This is how the Son of God lowered Himself to us, stooping like a servant to us to take on all that is ours, to the point of throwing open the doors to life. … This style of God, Who saves us by serving us and annihilating Himself, has much to teach us. We imagine a triumphal divine victory; instead Jesus shows us a very humble victory. Raised on the cross, He lets evil and death beset him, while He continues to love. For us it is difficult to accept this. It is a mystery, but the secret of this mystery, of this extraordinary humility, consists entirely in the strength of love. … In this way Jesus not only takes away evil, but also transforms it into good. He does not change things with words, but with actions; not in appearance, but in substance; not on the surface, but at the root. He transforms the cross into a bridge to life. We too can be victorious with Him, it we choose dutiful and humble love, that remains victorious for eternity. It is a love that does not shout and does not impose itself, but rather knows how to wait with trust and patience since, as the Book of Lamentations reminds us, “it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord”.

“As we offer this Mass for the our dear brother cardinals and bishops, let us ask for ourselves what the apostle Paul exhorts us to do: 'Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things'. May the resurrection of the Lord be enough to let us be free of the worries of ephemeral things, that pass and vanish into nothing. May He be enough for us, He in whom there is life, salvation, resurrection and joy. Then we will be servants according to His heart, not functionaries who offer their services, but rather beloved children who give their life for the world”.

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