Pope Francis during his Regina Coeli Pope Francis during his Regina Coeli  (ANSA)

Pope at Regina Coeli: Heaven is our homeland

Pope Francis assures the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square that Heaven is their homeland, and he urges each of them to follow Jesus when they they find themselves wondering where to go and how to get there.

By Francesca Merlo

Addressing the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square for his Sunday Regina Coeli, Pope Francis noted that the day's Gospel Reading, which is taken from Jesus' last discourse before his death, shows us how even back then Jesus showed the disciples the way, thus reminding us that He does so today, too: "He tells us where to go and how to go there", said the Pope. 

Where to go

Pope Francis goes on to address the "where to go" aspect, noting that Jesus sees the disciples' distress and prepares a place for them to stay so that they may always be where He is. "Jesus uses the familiar image of home, a place of relationships and intimacy. In the Father's house,' he says to his friends and to each one of us, 'there is room for you, you are welcome, you will be welcomed forever by the warmth of an embrace, and I am in heaven preparing a place for you!", the Pope noted.

This Word he explained "is a source of consolation and hope" as "Jesus did not separate himself from us but opened the way for us, anticipating our final destination: the encounter with God the Father". 

We must not lose sight of the goal, the Pope continued, "even if today we run the risk of forgetting it, of forgetting the ultimate questions, the important ones: where are we going? Where do we walk towards? What is it worth living for?" Without these questions, he explained that we only squeeze life into the present", whereas "our homeland is Heaven". 

How to go there

Pope Francis then went on to note that once we have discovered the goal, we ask ourselves "how do we get there?" The Pope noted that sometimes, "especially when there are big problems to face and there is the feeling that evil is stronger, we ask ourselves" what to do and which way to go.

"Let Jesus answer this", he urged. "Jesus himself is the way to follow in order to live in truth and have life in abundance", He is the way and therefore daith in Him is not a 'package of ideas' to be believed, but a road to be travelled, a journey to be made, a journey with Him". 

Bringing his catechesis to a close, Pope Francis urged those present not to allow themsekves to be overwhelmed by the present, but rather to "look up to Heaven, remember the goal and think that we are called to eternity and to an encounter with God". Following the Virgin Mary, concluded the Pope, who in her turn followed Jesus to arrive at this goal will "sustain our hope". 

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07 May 2023, 12:12