The “rock” of our faith is not found in “wise and persuasive words,” Pope Francis said, but rather in the “living word” which is Christ's death and resurrection. Human history culminating in Christ's coming was the main focus of the Pope's homily for Mass on Nov. 3, celebrated in Saint Peter's Basilica on behalf of all cardinals and bishops who have died over the last twelve months. Jesus' death and resurrection, said Pope Francis, “represents the culmination of the entire journey: it is the event of the resurrection which responds to the people of God's long search, to the search of every man and all of humanity.” “Each of us is invited to enter into this event,” he continued. Like Mary, the women, and the centurion, we are first called to be before the Cross. There, we are to “listen to Jesus' cry, and his last breath, and finally the silence,” which continues until Holy Saturday. After that, the Holy Father continued, “we are called to go to the tomb,” and hear the words: “He is risen. He is not here”. The answer, the “foundation, the rock” lies here, Pope Francis said, “in the living word of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus,” not in “wise persuasive arguments.” The Holy Father recalled the words of Saint Paul, saying if Jesus is “not risen, then our faith is empty and inconsistent. However, since he is Risen, in fact, and He is the Resurrection, therefore our faith is full of truth and eternal life.” “Thanks to the Word of God,” the Pope said, reflecting on the readings for the Mass of suffrage, “this celebration is illuminated by faith in the Resurrection.” “All of Divine Revelation is the fruit of dialogue between God and His people,” the Holy Father said, and “faith in the Resurrection is tied to this dialogue,” accompanying God's people throughout history. It is no wonder, he added, that a mystery as decisive and “superhuman” as the Resurrection necessitated the lengthy journey ending with Jesus Christ. Jesus can say he is the “resurrection and the life,” Pope Francis continued, because in Him the mystery is not only fully revealed, it is actualized, and for the first time becomes a “definitive reality.” Concluding his homily, Pope Francis recalled the cardinals and bishops who have died over the past year. “Our prayer is enriched by sentiments, memories, gratitude for the witness of persons we knew, with whom we shared the service of the Church,” he said. Pope Francis closed his homily by entrusting the departed to the “gaze of the Heavenly Father” and the intercession of Mary. “Together with the faithful who have served here on earth, may they delight in the Joy of the New Jerusalem.”
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