Pope Francis on Sunday travelled across Rome to the city’s Verano cemetery to celebrate Mass for All Saints Day. In his homily the Pope reflected on the words of the Beatitudes spoken by Jesus as he taught the crowds gathered on the hillside around the Lake of Galilee.
Pope Francis said we may ask ourselves how can the poor in spirit, or those who mourn be blessed or happy? Because those whose hearts are free of worldly cares and those who have experienced the sadness and pain of others, the Pope said, are those who will be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven and will feel God’s tenderness and consolation in their own lives.
Reflecting on the words, ‘Blessed are the meek’, Pope Francis said how often we act in exactly the opposite way, fretting, complaining and raising our voices, instead of following God’s path of patience and humility. Like parents who show endless patience towards their children, he said, Jesus also followed the path of meekness, suffering exile and persecution, false accusations and even death on the Cross for our sake.
The Pope spoke of the words ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness’ saying they will be filled with God’s justice. ‘Blessed are the merciful’, he continued, reminds us that we are all sinners and every one of us needs to be forgiven, just as we must show mercy and forgiveness to others.
Finally the Pope reflected on Jesus’ words ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’, saying those who patiently work to build peace and reconciliation are those who find true happiness, unlike those who cheat, or gossip, or take advantage of others.
Let us ask God for the grace to be simple, humble people, the Pope concluded, the grace to be meek and learn how to cry, the grace to work for justice and peace and, above all, the grace to ask God’s forgiveness that we may become instruments of his mercy for others.