How can we go through life without anxiety and anguish? How can we make sure we are on the right path? Pope Francis reflects on Jesus’ “Farewell discourse” during the Regina Caeli address on the Fifth Sunday of Easter.
During a live-streamed address from the Vatican’s Apostolic Library, Pope Francis prayed the Regina Caeli and invited the faithful never to fall into despair, but to trust in Jesus in the knowledge that he is always at our side and that there is a place awaiting us in Heaven.
He centred his catechesis on the Gospel passage of the day (Jn 14: 1-12) in which, he said, we hear the beginning of Jesus’ so-called “Farewell discourse” when, at the end of the Last Supper and just before the start of the Passion, Jesus reassures the disciples saying “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
The Lord is saying these same words to us, he said, “But how can we make sure that our hearts are not troubled?”
‘Believe in me’
The Pope explained that God indicates two “remedies,” the first being “Believe in me.”
It would seem, he said, rather theoretical, abstract advice. Instead, Jesus wants to tell us something precise.
“He knows that, in life, the worst anxiety, anguish, is born of the sensation of not being able to cope, of feeling alone and without points of reference when faced with events,” the Pope continued highlighting that we cannot overcome this anguish alone, “when one difficulty is added to another.”
Thus, he said, Jesus asks us to have faith in Him, knowing that He is always at our side and entrusting ourselves to Him.
‘My Father’s house has many rooms’
The second “remedy” for a troubled heart, the Pope continued, is expressed in Jesus’ words: “My Father’s house has many rooms… I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
This is what Jesus did for us, he said, “He reserved a place in Heaven for us. He took our humanity upon Himself (…) to Heaven where there is a place reserved for everyone.”
The Pope said we do not live “aimlessly and without a destination. We are awaited, we are precious.”
He invited the faithful not to forget that here on earth we are passing though, but our true dwelling place is in Heaven.
“We are made for Heaven, for eternal life, to live forever,” he said, and “this forever will be entirely in joy, in full communion with God and with others, without any more tears, resentments, divisions and troubles.”
‘I am the Way’
The Pope concluded his reflection pointing the way on “how to reach Heaven.”
He said Jesus’s decisive phrase is: “I am the Way,” meaning that the way to go up to Heaven is Jesus: to have a living relationship with Him, to imitate Him in love, to follow in His footsteps.”
Christians, he said, must ask themselves if they are on paths that do not lead to Heaven, such as the paths of power, of worldliness, of self-affirmation.
And he invited them to follow Jesus’s way which is “the way of humble love, of prayer, of meekness, of trust.”
“It is not the way of my self-centredness, it is the way of Jesus, Who is the centre of my life. It is to go ahead every day saying: “Jesus, what do You think of this choice I made? What would You do in this situation, with these people?”
Let us ask Jesus, he said for the directions to get to Heaven, and may Our Lady help us to follow Him.
After the recitation of the Regina Caeli prayer, the Pope marked Mother’s Day asking for prayers for mothers’ across the globe, and for those who are in heaven.
With thanks to Vatican News and Linda Bordoni, where this article originally appeared.