The Vatican

Pope Francis: "Our destiny is heaven".

The Pope concluded his catechesis on old age by looking at "the destiny of mankind": heaven and the resurrection.

Maria José Atienza-August 24, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes
pope audience

The recent celebration of the Assumption of Our Lady was the anchor used by the Holy Father to place before the faithful the reality of death, our "second birth, the birth in heaven" as well as the truth of faith of the resurrection of the body.

In fact, the Pope wanted to emphasize that "after death, we are born into heaven, into God's space, and we continue to be those who have walked this earth. In the same way that happened to Jesus: the Risen One continues to be Jesus: he does not lose his humanity, his lived experience, not even his corporeality, no, because without it he would no longer be Him, he would not be Jesus: that is, with his humanity, with his lived experience".

As he recalled shortly afterwards, "we are certain that it will keep our faces recognizable and allow us to remain human in God's heaven."

"The best of life remains to be seen."

In this last catechesis dedicated to the elderly, the Pope wanted to draw a kindly image of Christian death. In this line, Francis emphasized that for a Christian "death is like a stepping stone to an encounter with Jesus who is waiting to take me to Him" and alluded to the Gospel images of heaven as a feast or a wedding.

He also addressed the elderly, the protagonists of his catecheses in recent months, pointing out how "in old age, the importance of the many 'details' of which life is made up becomes more acute: a caress, a smile, a gesture, an appreciated job, an unexpected surprise, a hospitable joy, a faithful bond. The essentials of life, what we appreciate most as we approach farewell, become definitively clear to us." This sensitivity to detail is for Francis a sign of that new birth which must also "give light to others".

"The best of life is yet to be seen," the Pope told them, "But we are old, what else do we have to see?". The best, because the best of life is yet to be seen. Let us wait for this fullness of life that awaits us all, when the Lord calls us".

Although he did not hide that the proximity of death is "a little scary because we do not know what it means and go through that door, there is always the hand of the Lord that makes you move forward and once through the door there is celebration. Let us be careful, dear "old men" and dear "old women", let us be careful, He is waiting for us, just one step and then the celebration".

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