In a Mass for the repose of the souls of bishops, including Cardinals, who have died over the past year in the Vatican yesterday on the feast of St. Charles Borromeo, Pope Francis reminded the congregation that, to paraphrase St. Paul, nothing can separate us from God's love. “It is not by chance that Jesus wanted to preserve the wounds on his hands to make us feel his mercy. This is our strength and our hope!” the Pontiff exclaimed.
The Pope reiterated the purpose of remembrance in the special liturgy. "In the month of November, which is marked by the memory of the faithful departed, we remember our brother Cardinals and Bishops from around the world who have returned to the Father's house during the past year,” the Holy Father said.
Addressing the readings of the day, the Pope reaffirmed the words of St. Paul in Romans that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” The Pope reflected that God's love is “the deepest, most invincible motive for our trust in Christian hope,” saying that the missionary apostle “states with confidence that even if our entire existence is surrounded by threats, nothing will ever separate us from the love that Christ himself gained for us, giving of himself completely. Even evil powers that are hostile to man are powerless in the face to the intimate union of love between Jesus and those who welcome him with faith.”
Even when we break our bond with God because of our own sin and selfishness, “even in this case God will always go in search for him to restore that union that lasts even after death,” Francis reflected. "The certainty of God's love gives a new and full meaning to earthly life and opens us to hope for life beyond death.”
The Pope reflected on the bishops being commemorated at the Mass “who have dedicated their lives to the service of God and to their brothers are in the hands of God. They are well looked after and they will not be corroded by death,” the Pontiff preached. “All their days interwoven with joys and sufferings, hopes and labors, fidelity to the Gospel and passion for the spiritual and material salvation of their flocks, are in the hands of God, those merciful hands with their ‘wounds’ of love.”