God carries our names in his heart, explains Pope
Pope Francis rides through St. Peters Square before a General Audience, April 3, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.
Pope Francis rides through St. Peters Square before a General Audience, April 3, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.
By Kerri Lenartowick
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.- Pope Francis’ Sunday Angelus message emphasized the unique concern God has for every human person.

“The name of God is linked to the names of men and women with whom he unites himself, and this bond is stronger than death,” the Pope told crowds in St. Peter’s Square on Nov. 10.

“And so we can say that (about) the relationship of God with us, with every one us. He is the God of each of us, as he carries within himself our name.”

The Pope reflected on the Gospel story in which Jesus encounters the Pharisees who try to trick him into disproving the resurrection of the dead. They ask him about a woman who was married seven times as one after another of her husbands died. “In heaven, whose wife will she be?” the Sadducees demand.

“Jesus, always gentle and patient, at first responds that the life after death does not have the same parameters of this earth,” recounted the Pontiff.

“Eternal life is another life in another dimension where, among other things, there will no longer be marriage that is related to our existence in this world.”

“But then Jesus, so to speak, turns to the counter-attack,” continued the Pope. “And he cites Sacred Scripture to them, with a simplicity and an originality that leaves us full of admiration for our Teacher, the only Teacher!”

It is in the episode of Moses and the burning bush that Jesus finds proof of the resurrection. There “God reveals himself as the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob.”

By naming the people with whom he has made a covenant, God shows that he is not “the God of the dead, but of the living, because everyone lives for him.”

“And this decisive bond, the fundamental covenant is that with Jesus: He himself is the Covenant, He himself is the Life and the Resurrection, because with his cross he has overcome death,” underscored Pope Francis.

The Pontiff went on to explain that the bond between Jesus and the individual Christian is different than earthly bonds like marriage because it is eternal, as God himself is eternal.

“In fact, if God is faithful and loving, there can’t be a temporal limit. Faithfulness is eternal: it can’t change. The love of God is eternal: it can’t change. He isn’t limited by time, he is forever…He is faithful forever, according to his time, which is eternity,” insisted the Holy Father.

“The life that God prepares for us isn’t simply an embellishment of this present one: it is beyond our imagination because God continually surprises us with his love and with his mercy.”

“Therefore, what will happen is exactly the opposite of what the Sadducees expected.  It is not that this life acts as a reference to eternity, but it is eternity that enlightens and gives hope to the earthly lives of each of us!” he exclaimed.

“But already on this earth, in prayer, in the Sacraments, in brotherhood, we meet Jesus and his love and in this we can have a foretaste of risen life.”

The crowds clapped as Pope Francis enthused, “The fullness of life! We are on the way and in pilgrimage towards that fullness of life, and that full life is that which illuminates our way!”

After leading crowds in the Angelus prayer, the Pontiff greeted various pilgrim groups who had come to Rome, as well as taking a moment of prayer for victims of the typhoon that hit the Philippines on Friday. 

The Pope also recalled the “Night of broken glass,” on Nov. 9-10, 1938, in which Jews were persecuted.

“We renew our closeness and solidarity to the Jewish people and we pray to God that the memory of the past help us to be ever vigilant against all forms of hatred and intolerance,” he said.

The Pope concluded the audience by wishing everyone a good Sunday and a “good lunch.”

Tags: Pope Francis

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