By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With his resurrection, Jesus opened the doors for all those who believe in him to be risen and united with him in heaven, Pope Francis said.
The anticipation of eternal life “is the source and reason of our hope, a hope that, if cultivated and safeguarded, becomes the light to illuminate our own lives” and those around us, he said during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square Dec. 4.
If people could grasp fully this reality of eternal life with Jesus, “we will be less weary from daily life, less imprisoned by the ephemeral and more willing to walk with a merciful heart on the path to salvation,” he said.
The pope focused his catechesis on the resurrection of the body.
The death and resurrection of Jesus “is not a lie, it’s true. We believe that Jesus is risen and alive at this moment,” he said.
“And if Jesus is alive, do you think he would leave us to die and never resurrect us? No! He is waiting for us and, because he is risen, the power of his resurrection will resurrect all of us.”
Through Christ, the human body will be glorified and reunited with the soul at the resurrection, he said.
“Our relationship with (Christ’s) body and blood” through the sacraments prepares the faithful for this transformation, this “transfiguration of our body,” he said.
In fact, baptism marks the start of a new life, “a life with Christ” and, “in a certain way, with him we are already risen,” the pope said.
This “seed of resurrection” and an image of eternity are imprinted in people, underlining the importance of always respecting all human life and showing love for others, especially for those who suffer.
“This gives us hope that we are journeying toward the resurrection and this is our joy: one day to find Jesus, encounter Jesus” and be all together in heaven. “This is our destiny,” he said, to be joyous with Jesus.
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The text of the pope’s audience remarks in English is available online at www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/audiences/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20131204_udienza-generale_en.html.
The text of the pope’s audience remarks in Spanish is available online at www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/audiences/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20131204_udienza-generale_sp.html.
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