And as Jesus waits for our arrival there, He is praying for us!
The pope drew from the First Reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles, when Paul tells the Jews how the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their religious leaders had not recognized Jesus and had condemned him to death, but he was raised from the dead.
Paul, said Pope Francis, calls Jesus’ resurrection the fulfillment of God’s Promise.
“The people of God trusted in the promise, because they knew God is faithful,” he said.
“We, too, are in movement along the path. When asked where we are heading, we say, ‘Towards heaven!’ ‘So what’s heaven?’ some ask. There we begin to be unsure in our response. We don’t know how best to explain heaven. Often we picture an abstract and distant heaven … And some think: ‘But won’t it be boring there for all eternity?’ No! That is not heaven. We are on the path towards an encounter: the final meeting with Jesus. Heaven is the encounter with Jesus.”
Jesus prays for us
Pope Francis said we must often recall this idea: “I am traveling in life to meet Jesus.” This meeting will make us happy forever, he said.
“But what does Jesus do in the meantime?” the pope asked. As John’s Gospel points out, he said, Jesus is working for us and praying for us. Pope Francis recalled Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, when he promises Peter he will pray for him.
“Each of us must say: ‘Jesus is praying for me, working to prepare me a place.’ He is faithful. He does so because he has promised it. Heaven will be this encounter, this meeting with the Lord who went ahead to prepare a place for each of us. This increases our faith.”
“May the Lord give us the awareness of walking along a path with this promise. May the Lord give us the grace to look upwards toward heaven and think: ‘The Lord is praying for me’.”
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