Speaking at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, Pope Francis reflected on the mystery of death, inviting us to ask God for the grace to die in hope, in the heart of the Church and in the knowledge that we have left a legacy of Christian witness behind us.
Pope Francis based his
homily on the first reading of the day which tells the story of the
death of King David. Though he is a sinner, the Pope noted, he is not a
traitor and he remains to the end in the heart of his people, the people
We too, Pope Francis continued, should ask God for the grace to
die in our spiritual “home”, within the heart of the Church. We are all
sinners, he said, but the Church is like a mother who takes us just as
we are, even with our stains, and makes us clean.
observation the Pope made is that David dies in peace, certain that
after death he will be with his ancestors. This is another grace we can
ask for, to die in hope that in the afterlife our home and our family
will be there waiting for us.
Pope Francis recalled St Therese of
Lisieux who, when she was approaching death, experienced the struggle
between good and evil and heard the devil telling her there was nothing
but darkness waiting for her. The devil did not want her to trust in
God. but we too know that life is a struggle and must ask God for the
grace to die in hope.
To do this, the Pope said, we must start by
trusting God in the big and small daily difficulties we encounter, so
that our hope grows and we become accustomed to trusting in the Lord.
the Pope reflected on the legacy that King David left after 40 years of
governing and strengthening his people. He left this legacy to his son,
telling him to keep the law of the Lord, following his ways and
observing his commands.
Pope Francis recalled a popular proverb which
says the best legacy for every person is to leave a child, plant a tree
and write a book. What legacy will we leave behind, the Pope asked? Have
we brought life, wisdom, and planted a tree? Have we done so much good
that people want us as a father or a mother? Our legacy, he said, is the
Christian witness we give to others, just as the Saints boldly lived
out the Gospel and have left us a path to follow in our own lives.