ANGELUS: LEARNING TO LIVE AND DIE IN HOPE
VATICAN CITY, 6 NOV 2011 (VIS) – At midday yesterday the Holy Father appeared at
the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus
with pilgrims and faithful gathered below in St. Peter’s Square.
Before the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI made some brief comments on the readings from today’s liturgy which, he said, “invite us to continue the reflections on eternal life we began with the commemoration of All Souls Day. On this question there is a clear difference between those who believe and those who do not believe or, we could say, between those who hope and those who do not”.
“St. Paul reminded the Christians of Ephesus that, before they accepted the Good News, they had had ‘no hope’ and had been ‘without God in the world’. The religion of the Greeks, the pagan cults and myths were unable to throw light on the mystery of death. Indeed, one ancient inscription read:’How quickly we fall back from nothing to nothing’. If we eliminate God, if we eliminate Christ, the world falls into emptiness and darkness. This also emerges in contemporary forms of nihilism by which, alas, young people are so often unknowingly affected”.
The Pope also referred to the reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew, “the famous parable of the ten bridesmaids invited to a wedding banquet, symbol of the kingdom of heaven, of eternal life”, he said. “Of the ten, five entered the banquet because, when the bridegroom arrived, they had oil to light their lamps, while the other five could not enter because they had foolishly failed to bring oil with them. What does this ‘oil’ represent?” the Holy Father asked. “St. Augustine and other ancient writers saw it as a
symbol of love: a love which we cannot buy but receive as a gift, which we keep in our hearts and practise in good works. True wisdom is to take advantage of mortal life to do works of mercy, because this will not be possible after death. When we reawaken for the final judgement, we will be assessed on the basis of the love we have shown during our earthly lives. This love is a gift of Christ, poured upon us by the Holy Spirit. Those who believe in God-Love carry an invincible hope, like a lamp with which to cross the night after death and to reach the great feast of life”.
In conclusion, the Pope invited the faithful to learn from the Virgin Mary
“to live and die in the hope that does not disappoint”.