HOMILY AT ST. MARTHA’S HOUSE, BERGOGLIO: ”FAITH IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LEGACY WE CAN LEAVE BEHIND” During the traditional morning Mass, the Pope has urged us not to be afraid of death because the path of life continues

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We must not be afraid of  death. Taking a cue from the reading of the day, Pope Francis focuses his reflection on what today is still a taboo. The first reading of the day is about King David’s death. “In every life there is an end – the Pope said – but this is a thought that we do not like much, we always covers it up, yet it is something that happens every day.” It would be better for us to think of  it as the “last step” because it is “a light that illuminates life, a reality we must always have in front of us”:

“During one of the Wednesday audiences there was an elderly nun among the sick, but there was peace on her face, her eyes were bright: ‘How old are you, Sister?’. She answered, smiling: ’83, but I am finishing my journey in this life, to start the other journey with the Lord because I have got pancreas cancer’. This woman had lived peacefully and intensely her consecrated life. She was not afraid of death: ‘I am finishing my life journey to begin another one’. It is a ride. These things are good for us.”

Then, going back to today’s liturgy, he continues: “David has been the king of Israel for 40 years, but they pass as well,” – Pope Francis says. Before dying, the king exhorts his son, Solomon, to obey the law of the Lord. He had sinned a lot in his life, but he had learned to ask forgiveness and the Church calls him “the Holy King David. Sinner, but Holy!” On his deathbed, he leaves to his children “the most beautiful and greatest legacy a man or a woman can leave to their children: he leaves faith”:

“When people write their will, they say: I leave this for a person, I leave that other thing to another person… Yes, it is fine, but the most beautiful legacy, the greatest legacy that a man or a woman, can leave to their children is faith. David remembers God’s promises, he remembers his faith in those promises and reminds his son about them. He leaves faith in inheritance. When during the ceremony of baptism we give (parents) the lit candle, the light of faith, we are telling them: ‘Preserve it, make it grow in your son and your daughter and leave it in inheritance’. This is what David teaches us, and dies like any other man. But he knows what to recommend his child and what is the best legacy to leave them: not the kingdom, but faith!”

“We should ask ourselves a question – the Pope has said – What is the legacy I leave through my life? Do I leave the legacy of a man or a woman of faith? Is this what I leave in inheritance to my dear ones? Let us ask two things from the Lord: not to be afraid of this last step, like the Sister at the Wednesday audience, not to be afraid; and to be able to leave the best legacy through our life, that is, faith, faith in the true God, who is always next to us, our Father who never disappoints us.”

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