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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mass in Verano cemetery: the Beatitudes are the way to happiness

Vatican City, 1 November 2015 (VIS) – This afternoon, on the Solemnity of All Saints, Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in the monumental cemetery of Verano, followed by a prayer for the deceased and the blessing of the tombs. The cardinal vicar of Rome, Agostino Vallini, Archbishop Filippo Iannone, vice regent of the diocese of Rome and pastor of San Lorenzo Outside-the-Walls, and Fr. Armando Ambrosi concelebrated with the Holy Father.

The Pope dedicated his homily to the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus taught the Beatitudes, the way to true happiness, to the disciples and the multitude gathered on the hill by the Sea of Galilee. “It is a difficult path to understand as it goes against the grain, but the Lord tells us that he who takes this path is happy; sooner or later he finds happiness”.

“'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven'. We might ask ourselves how a person who is poor of heart, whose only treasure is the Kingdom of Heaven, can be happy. But the reason is precisely this: that having a despoiled heart, free of many worldly things, this person is 'awaited' in the Kingdom of Heaven”.

“'Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted'. He who in life has not experienced sadness, anguish and pain will never know the strength of consolation. Happy instead are all those who have the capacity to be moved, to feel the pain that is in their life and in the life of others. They will be happy, because the tender hand of God the Father will console and caress them”.

“'Blessed are the meek'. On the contrary, we are so often impatient, nervous, ready to complain. We make so many demands of others, but when it is our turn, we react by raising our voice, as if we were the owners of the world, while in reality we are all children of God”.

“'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied'. Those who have a strong sense of justice, and not only towards others, but first of all towards themselves, they will be satisfied, because they are ready to receive the greatest justice, which only God can give”.

“And then, 'blessed are the merciful, because they will obtain mercy'. Happy are those who are able to forgive, who have mercy on others, who do not judge everything and everyone, but who try to put themselves in the shoes of other people. Forgiveness what we all need, without exception. This is why, at the beginning of Mass we recognise ourselves for what we are, sinners”.

“'Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called sons of God'. Let us look at the faces of those who go around sowing discord: are they happy? Those who always seek occasions to embroil, to take advantage of others, are they happy? No, they cannot be happy. Instead those who every day seek with patience to sow peace, are architects of peace, of reconciliation: these are blessed, because they are true children of our Father in Heaven, who always and only sows peace, sending His Son into the world as a seed of peace for humanity”.

“This is the way of holiness, and it is the very way of happiness”, concluded the Holy Father. “It is the way that Jesus followed; or rather, He himself is Way. Those who walk with Him and pass through Him enter into life, eternal life. Let us ask of the Lord the grace to be simple and humble persons, the grace to be able to weep, the grace to be meek, the grace to work for justice and peace, and above all the grace to allow ourselves to be forgiven by God so as to become instruments of His mercy. This is what all the Saints did, those who have preceded us in the celestial homeland. May they accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage and encourage us to go forward”.

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