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Pope: Preparing for the heavenly homeland
(Vatican Radio) Our journey of faith is not one of alienation, but prepares our hearts to see the beautiful face of God: this was Pope Francis’ message during Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. On Friday Mass was attended by Staff from the Vatican Typography, the Vatican Labor Office and Vatican State Police. Emer McCarthy reports:
The Gospel of the day recounts Jesus saying to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled”.
"These words of Jesus are really beautiful words. In a moment of farewell, Jesus speaks to his disciples, really from the heart. He knows that his disciples are sad, because they realize that things are not going well. He says: Do not let your hearts be troubled. And he starts to talk like that, just like a friend, even with the attitude of a pastor. I say, the music in the words of Jesus is how the pastor should behave, like a shepherd with his sheep, right? ... Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God, in me '. And what does he start to talk about? About Heaven, about the definitive homeland. 'Have faith in me': I remain faithful, it is as if he said that, right? ... Like an engineer, like an architect He tells them what He will do: 'I am going to prepare a place, in my Father’s house is my dwelling'. And Jesus goes to prepare a place for us. "
Pope Francis asked: "What is that place like? What does 'prepare a place' mean? Does it mean renting a room up there? ‘Prepare a place’, means preparing our ability to enjoy the chance - our chance - to see, to feel, to understand the beauty of what lies ahead, of that homeland towards which we walk ".
"And all of Christian life is the work of Jesus, the Holy Spirit to prepare a place, prepare our eyes to be able to see ... 'But, Father, I see fine! I don’t need glasses! ': But that's another type of vision .... Think of those who are suffering from cataracts and have to undergo an operation to remove them: they can still see, but after surgery what do they all say? 'I never thought you could see so well without glasses!'. Our eyes, the eyes of our soul they need, they have to be prepared to contemplate the beautiful face of Jesus. Our hearing must be prepared in order to hear the beautiful things, the beautiful words. Above all our hearts must be prepared: prepared for love, to love more".
In our life’s journey – said Pope Francis- the Lord prepares our hearts "with trials, with consolations, with tribulations, with good things":
"The whole journey of life is a journey of preparation. Sometimes the Lord has to do it quickly, as he did with the good thief: he only had a few minutes to prepare him and he did it. But the normal run of things goes this way, no?: in preparing our heart, eyes, hearing to arrive in this homeland. Because that is our homeland. 'But, Father, I went to a philosopher and he told me that all these thoughts are an alienation, that we are alienated, that life is this, the concrete, and no-one knows what’s beyond ...'. Some think this is so ... but Jesus tells us that it is not so and says, 'Have faith in me'. This I tell you is the truth: I do not cheat, I do not deceive. "
"Preparing for heaven - said the Pope – means beginning to greet him from afar. This is not alienation: this is the truth, this is allowing Jesus to prepare our hearts, our eyes for the beauty that is so great. It is the path of beauty and" the path to the homeland. "
Pope Francis concluded with a prayer that the Lord will give us " this strong hope," the courage and the humility to allow the Lord to prepare “our eyes, our hearts, our hearing” for the heavenly homeland, "the definitive dwelling. So be it. "