During his annual Mass for the deceased cardinals and bishops of the past year, Pope Francis points to the end of time.
Each November the Pope offers a special Mass for the repose of the souls of all the cardinals and bishops who have died in the past year. This year Pope Francis focused on the Last Day in his homily, referring to a passage from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
He said, “Saint Ignatius suggests that before making any important decision, we should imagine ourselves standing before God at the end of time. That is the final and inevitable moment, one that all of us will have to face. Every life decision, viewed from that perspective, will be well directed, since it is closer to the resurrection, which is the meaning and purpose of life.”
Pope Francis then quoted St. Ignatius to reinforce the image, “Saint Ignatius writes: ‘Let me consider myself as standing in the presence of my judge on the last day, and reflect what decision on the present matter I would then wish to have made; I will choose now the rule of life that I would then wish to have observed’ (Spiritual Exercises, 187). It can be a helpful exercise to view reality through the eyes of the Lord and not only through our own; to look to the future, the resurrection, and not only to this passing day; to make choices that have the flavor of eternity, the taste of love.”
To conclude his homily, Pope Francis presented a series of questions that he urged all Christians to consider in their daily life.
Do I go forth from myself each day in order to come to the Lord? Do I feel and practice compassion for those in need? Do I make important decisions in the sight of God? Let us allow ourselves to be challenged at least by one of these three thoughts. We will be more attuned to the desire that Jesus expresses in today’s Gospel: that he lose nothing of what the Father has given him.
Pope Francis encourages spiritual discernment that frees a person from the “culture of death”