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Afterlife is not an afterthought, Pope tells Angelus audience

November 11, 2013

“With Jesus, our pilgrimage goes beyond death toward life,” Pope Francis told his Angelus audience on Sunday, November 10. Thus paradoxically, “death lies behind us, not ahead of us.”

Commenting on the day’s Gospel, in which Jesus speaks to the Sadduccees about life after death, the Pope observed that Jesus affirms the “fundamental covenant” that transcends life and death. “He Himself is the covenant,” the Pope said; “He Himself is life and resurrection, as it is his love on the Cross that vanquishes death.”

The afterlife is not merely an “embellishment to our current lives,” the Pope continued; it is a far greater thing, which surpasses our ability to understand. “ It is not this life that is a reference to eternity, to that which awaits us, but rather it is eternity that illuminates and gives hope to the earthly life of each one of us!”

At the conclusion of his audience, the Pope made a special plea for prayers for the people of the Philippines, recovering from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, and led the people in saying the Hail Mary for them. He also reminded his audience that the world was marking the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a prelude to the Nazi Holocaust, and asked for prayers “that the memory of the past, the memory of past sins, may help us always to be vigilant against any form of hate or intolerance.”

Finally, the Pope took note of the Italian observance of Thanksgiving, which took place on Sunday, and voiced his gratitude to the farmers who provide the nation’s food.


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