HOLY MASS FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
Prima Porta Cemetery
Wednesday, 2 November 2016
Job was in darkness. He was right at death’s door. And in that moment of anguish, pain and suffering, Job proclaimed hope: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth... my eyes shall behold [him], and not another” (Job 19:25, 27). The commemoration of the dead has this twofold meaning. A sense of sorrow: a cemetery is sad, it reminds us of our loved ones who have passed on. It also reminds us of the future, of death.
But in this sadness, we bring flowers, as a sign of hope, and also, I might say, of celebration, but later on, not now. And sorrow is mingled with hope. Today, in this celebration, this is what we all feel: the memory of our loved ones, before their remains, and hope.
But we also feel that this hope helps us, because we too must make this journey. All of us must make this journey. Sooner or later, with more pain or less, but everyone must. However with the flower of hope, with that powerful thread that is anchored in the hereafter. Thus, the hope of resurrection still does not disappoint.
Jesus was the first to make this journey. We are following the journey that he made. And it was Jesus himself who opened the door: with his Cross he opened the door of hope, he opened the door for us to enter where we will contemplate God. “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth... I shall behold him, and not another, I shall. My eyes shall behold him, and not another”.
Let us return home today with this twofold remembrance: remembrance of the past, of our loved ones who have passed on; and remembrance of the future, of the journey that we will make. With certainty, security; that certainty came from Jesus’ lips: “I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn 6:40).