Referring to the reading from the Gospel of Mark, the pope said it is not so much a discourse about the end of the world, but rather an invitation to live the present well, to be vigilant and always ready for when we will be called to account for our lives.
He said that although the words in the passage describe the end of times, Jesus is telling us that “the light that will shine on that last day will be unique and new: it will be the light of the Lord Jesus that will come in glory with all the saints”.
In that encounter, he explained, we will finally see his face in the full light of the Trinity; a face that is radiant with love, and before which every human being will also appear in total truth.
The pope said that the history of humanity, like the personal history of each of us, cannot be understood as a simple succession of words and facts that have no meaning.
Nor, he continued, can it be interpreted in the light of a fatalistic vision, as if everything were already established according to a destiny that takes away freedom and prevents us from making choices that are the fruit of a true decision.
Rather, he continued, Jesus says that the history of peoples and that of individuals has an end and a goal to be achieved: the definitive encounter with the Lord.
The pope said that no one knows the time or the way in which that encounter will happen, but he pointed out, there is a fundamental principle with which we must confront ourselves: “Heaven and earth will pass away but His words will not pass away”.
Thus, he said, “each of us will have to understand whether the Word of the Son of God has enlightened our personal existence, or whether he or she has turned their back on him, preferring to trust in their own words”.
Cunning and wealth will be of no use
No one, Pope Francis said, can escape this moment. And he warned that the cunning behavior that we so often resort to in order to put on an appearance will no longer be of use, just as the power of money and the economic means with which we presume to buy everything and everyone, will no longer be of use either.
“We will have with us nothing more than what we have achieved in this life by believing in his Word: all and nothing of what we have lived or neglected to do” he said.
Pope Francis concluded his catechesis invoking the intercession of the Virgin Mary “so that the realization of our temporariness on earth and of our limitations do not plunge us into anguish, but directs us back to our responsibility towards ourselves, towards our neighbour, towards the whole world”.
By Linda Bordoni/Vatican News