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Pope Francis: Prepare Your Hearts For the Heavenly Homeland
Pontiff Reflects on Christs Words to Disciples During Morning Mass
By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY, April 26, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Staff members from the Vatican Typography, the Vatican Labor Office and Vatican State Police attended the daily Mass celebrated by Pope Francis this morning at Domus Sanctae Marthae. During his homily, the Holy Father spoke on the St. John's Gospel of Jesus' words to his disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled."
Pope Francis reflected on the beauty of Christ's words of farewell which he said were "really from the heart."
"He knows that his disciples are sad, because they realize that things are not going well," the Pope said. "He says: Do not let your hearts be troubled. And he starts to talk like that, just like a friend, even with the attitude of a pastor. I say, the music in the words of Jesus is how the pastor should behave, like a shepherd with his sheep, right?"
The Holy Father also reflected on the meaning Jesus's promise to prepare a dwelling place for the disciples in Heaven, "the definitive homeland.". To prepare a place, the Pope said, "means preparing our ability to enjoy the chance - our chance - to see, to feel, to understand the beauty of what lies ahead, of that homeland towards which we walk."
The Eyes of the Soul
Pope Francis stated that Christ not only wishes to prepare a place, but also to prepare our eyes to be able to see the world around us through what he described as "the eyes of the soul"
"Our eyes, the eyes of our soul they need, they have to be prepared to contemplate the beautiful face of Jesus," the Pope said. "Our hearing must be prepared in order to hear the beautiful things, the beautiful words. Above all our hearts must be prepared: prepared for love, to love more."
To prepare us for this new vision, he continued, the Lord prepares our hearts "with trials, with consolations, with tribulations, with good things."
"The whole journey of life is a journey of preparation," the Pope said. "Sometimes the Lord has to do it quickly, as he did with the good thief. He only had a few minutes to prepare him and he did it. But the normal run of things goes this way, no? In preparing our heart, eyes, hearing to arrive in this homeland. Because that is our homeland."
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on those attending the Mass to not look at this preparation for Heaven as an alienation but as an opportunity to prepare our hearts for the unfathomable beauty that awaits all.
"Preparing for heaven means beginning to greet him from afar. This is not alienation: this is the truth, this is allowing Jesus to prepare our hearts, our eyes for the beauty that is so great. It is the path of beauty and the path to the homeland. "
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