In his Thursday morning Mass, Pope Francis talked about the mystery of death. He explained that despite our sins, dying in the heart of the Church, is a gift.
"It's a gift from God and we must pray for it. To say, 'Lord, grant me the gift of dying at my spiritual home, in the heart of the Church.' We are sinners! All of us are. But we're not traitors. No! We are not corrupt. No! We stay on the inside! The Church, our Mother loves us so, despite our sins, the Church cleanses us. She's our Mother.”
The Pope then added that every Christian should make an effort to leave a Christian legacy behind, once they pass away.
SUMMARY OF POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
Speaking at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, Pope Francis reflected on the mystery of death, inviting us to ask God for the grace to die in hope, in the heart of the Church and in the knowledge that we have left a legacy of Christian witness behind us. Pope Francis based his homily on the first reading of the day which tells the story of the death of King David. Though he is a sinner, the Pope noted, he is not a traitor and he remains to the end in the heart of his people, the people of God. We too, Pope Francis continued, should ask God for the grace to die in our spiritual "home”, within the heart of the Church. We are all sinners, he said, but the Church is like a mother who takes us just as we are, even with our stains, and makes us clean.
The second observation the Pope made is that David dies in peace, certain that after death he will be with his ancestors. This is another grace we can ask for, to die in hope that in the afterlife our home and our family will be there waiting for us. Pope Francis recalled St Therese of Lisieux who, when she was approaching death, experienced the struggle between good and evil and heard the devil telling her there was nothing but darkness waiting for her. The devil did not want her to trust in God. but we too know that life is a struggle and must ask God for the grace to die in hope. To do this, the Pope said, we must start by trusting God in the big and small daily difficulties we encounter, so that our hope grows and we become accustomed to trusting in the Lord.
Thirdly, the Pope reflected on the legacy that King David left after 40 years of governing and strengthening his people. He left this legacy to his son, telling him to keep the law of the Lord, following his ways and observing his commands. Pope Francis recalled a popular proverb which says the best legacy for every person is to leave a child, plant a tree and write a book. What legacy will we leave behind, the Pope asked? Have we brought life, wisdom, and planted a tree? Have we done so much good that people want us as a father or a mother? Our legacy, he said, is the Christian witness we give to others, just as the Saints boldly lived out the Gospel and have left us a path to follow in our own lives.