|Pope Francis at the Verano Cemetery, Rome, Italy|
Pope Francis visited Verano Cemetery on the Feast of All Saints, which was the first papal visit in over twenty years. The Pontiff abandoned his prepared remarks and spoke spontaneously:
At this moment before sunset, we are gathered in this cemetery to think about our future and all those who are no more, those who have gone before us in life and are in Lord. The vision we heard in today's first reading is so beautiful.
An elder asked, 'Who are these? These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb' We can only enter Heaven through the blood of the Lamb. It is the blood of Christ that justified us. If today, we remember our departed brothers and sisters, it is because they were cleansed by the blood of Christ. He is our hope. He never disappoints.
John told his disciples, 'See what love the Father has bestowed on us … we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed.' That is, 'we shall be like him'. That is our hope.
Hope is the yeast that widens the soul even in difficult times, hope, the soul go on. Today is a day of hope. Our brothers and sisters are in God's presence. We too shall be there if we walk along Jesus' road . . . . Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure'. Hope purifies; it lightens us; it makes it go faster.
As sun starts to set today, let each of us think of our own sunset. Am I looking at it with hope? . . . Where is my heart anchored? If it is anchored on the shore, hope cannot disappoint because Jesus does not disappoint.
h/t: La Stampa