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Angelus Address: On Life Beyond Death (Full Text)

Jesus Invites Us ‘To Think that This Earthy Dimension’ Is Not the Only One, ‘But There is Another, No Longer Subject to Death, in which It Will be Fully Manifested that We Are Children of God’

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

* * *

Before the Angelus:

 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

Today’s evangelical page (Cf. Luke 20:27-38) gives us a wonderful teaching of Jesus on the resurrection of the dead. Jesus is questioned by some Sadducees, who didn’t believe in the resurrection and so provoke Him with an insidious question: in the resurrection, whose wife will a woman be who had seven successive husbands, all brothers between them, who died one after the other? Jesus doesn’t fall into the trap and answers that the resurrected in the beyond “neither marry or are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to the angels and are sons of God” (vv. 35-36). Jesus answers thus.

With this answer, Jesus invites his interlocutors first of all — and also us — to think that this earthly dimension, in which we now live, isn’t the only dimension, but there is another, no longer subject to death, in which it will be fully manifested that we are children of God. It gives great consolation and hope to hear this simple and clear word of Jesus on life beyond death; we have so much need of it, especially in our time, so rich in knowledge of the universe but so poor in wisdom on eternal life.

This limpid certainty of Jesus on the resurrection is based entirely on the fidelity of God, who is the God of life. In fact, behind the Sadducees question a deeper one is hidden: not only whose wife would be the widowed woman with seven husbands, but of who would her life be. It is a doubt that touches men of all times and also us: after this earthly pilgrimage, what will our life be like? Will it belong to nothing, to death?

Jesus answers that life belongs to God, who loves us and is so concerned about us, to the point of linking His Name to ours: He is “the God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob. God is not of the dead, but of the living; “for all live to Him” (vv. 37-38). Life subsists where there is a bond, communion, brotherhood; and it is a life stronger than death when it is built on true relationships and bonds of fidelity. On the contrary, there is no life where there is the pretension of belonging only to oneself and to live as islands: death prevails in such attitudes. It is egoism. If I live for myself, I am sowing death in my heart.

May the Virgin Mary help us to live every day in the perspective of all that we affirm in the last part of the Creed: “I await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come,” to await the beyond.

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

 

After the Angelus:

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Proclaimed Blessed yesterday at Granada, in Spain, was Maria Emilia Riquelme y Zayas, Founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament and of Mary Immaculate. And today, at Braga in Portugal a Mass of thanksgiving is being celebrated for the equivalent Canonization of Saint Bartolomeo Fernandes of the Martyrs. The new Blessed was exemplary in her fervor in Eucharistic adoration and generous in her service to the neediest; while the new Saint was a great Evangelizer and Pastor of his people — an applause for both Blesseds!

A special thought goes to the dear people of South Sudan, which I must visit this [next] year. With the still vivid memory of the spiritual retreat for the Authorities of the country, held in the Vatican last April, I wish to renew my invitation to all the actors in the national political process, to seek what unites and to overcome what divides, in a true spirit of brotherhood. The South Sudanese people have suffered too much in the last years and they wait with great hope for a better future, especially the definitive end of the conflicts and lasting peace. Therefore, I exhort the leaders to continue, without tiring, the commitment in favor of inclusive dialogue in the search for consensus for the good of the Nation. Moreover, I express the hope that the International Community will not neglect to accompany South Sudan in the path of national reconciliation. I invite you all to pray together for that country, for which I have particular affection.

[Hail Mary]

I also wish to entrust to your prayer the situation in beloved Bolivia, neighbor of my homeland. I invite all Bolivians, in particular, the political and social actors, to wait in peace, with a constructive spirit, and without any previous condition, in an atmosphere of peace and serenity, for the results of the process of revision of the elections, which is currently underway.

Celebrated today in Italy is the National Day of Thanksgiving fro the fruits of the earth and of work. I associate myself to the Bishops in recalling the strong link between bread and work, hoping for courageous employment policies that take into account dignity and solidarity and prevent the risks of corruption. May workers not be exploited; may there be work for all but true work, not work as slaves.

I thank you all who have come from Rome, from Italy and from so many parts of the world. I greet the pilgrims of Haaren (Germany), of Darwin (Australia) and the students of Neuilly (France), as well as the faithful of the Diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio, those of Bianze and of Burano.

I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Thank you. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye!

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

About Virginia Forrester

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