Pope Celebrates Mass for Deceased Cardinals and Bishops

Expresses Gratitude for their Service to the Catholic Church

Pope Francis celebrated a Mass this morning to commemorate the 10 Cardinals and 111 Bishops who have passed away this year. In his homily, the Holy Father reflected on the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The first reading from the Second Book of Maccabees recalls the atonement sacrifice by Judas, the leader of the Jews, for those who have died. The Holy Father acknowledged that one can see that faith in the Resurrection “made its way with difficulty in the Old Testament.”

“The whole divine Revelation is the fruit of dialogue between God and His People, and faith in the Resurrection is also connected to this dialogue, which supports the journey of God’s People in history,” he said.

“It is not astonishing that such a great, such a decisive, such a superhuman mystery as that of the Resurrection required all the itinerary, all the necessary time up to Jesus Christ.”

The culmination of this itinerary, he went on to say, is revealed in the Gospel of St. Mark, which recounted the death and resurrection of Christ. This event, the Pope said, responds to the long search by the People of God and of humanity.

“The answer is there,” he said, “the foundation, the rock is there. Not in ‘persuasive wise discourses,’ but in the living word of the cross and of the Resurrection of Jesus.”

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis remembered the prelates who have died in the last 12 months, expressing his gratitude for their service to the Church.

“Together with the faithful whom they served here on earth,” he said, “may they be able to enjoy the happiness of the New Jerusalem.”

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