Following Holy Mass on the occasion of the Jubilee of Prisoners, Pope Francis appeared as on every Sunday at the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
“A few days after the feasts of All Saints and All Souls Day, this Sunday’s liturgy invites us once again to reflect on the mystery of the resurrection of the dead”, he began. “The Gospel presents Jesus in discussion with some Sadducees, who did not believe in resurrection, and conceived of the relationship with God as only in the dimension of earthly life. And then, to ridicule resurrection and to challenge Jesus, they present Him with a paradoxical and absurd case: a woman who had seven husbands, all brothers to one another, who died one after the other. And so the malicious question addressed to Jesus: ‘Now, at the resurrection, whose wife will that woman be?”.
“Jesus does not fall into the trap and reaffirms the truth of the resurrection, explaining that the existence after death will be different from that on Earth, and making it clear that the categories of this world cannot be applied to the realities that go beyond and are larger than what we see in this life. For He says: “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage”. With these words, Jesus intends to explain that in this world, we live in temporary realities, that end; while instead, in the afterlife, after the resurrection, we will not have the death as a horizon and we will live everything, even human bonds, in the dimension of God, in a transfigured way. Even marriage, a sign and instrument of the love of God in this world, shall shine, transformed into full light, in the glorious Communion of Saints in heaven”.
“The ‘children of heaven and resurrection’ are not a privileged few”, Francis emphasised. “They are all men and all women, because the salvation brought by Jesus is for every one of us. … But beware! The resurrection is not only the fact of resurrection after death, but it is a new kind of life that we experience in today already; it is victory over nothingness, which we can already anticipate. The resurrection is the foundation of Christian faith and hope! If there were no reference to heaven and eternal life, Christianity would be reduced to ethics, a philosophy of life. Instead the message of Christian faith comes from heaven, it is revealed by God and is beyond this world. It is essential to believe in the resurrection, so every act of Christian love is not ephemeral and an end in itself, but instead becomes a seed destined to bloom in the garden of God, and to produce fruits of eternal life”.
“May the Virgin Mary, Queen of heaven and earth, confirm us in the hope of the resurrection, and help us to make fruitful, through good works, the Word of her Son, sown in our hearts”, concluded the Holy Father.