Throw Your Anchor Ahead

by Pope Francis

We are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 Jn 3:1-2).

To see God, to be like God: this is our hope. And on All Saints Day and during the month that we commemorate the faithful departed, we need to think a little about this hope: this hope that accompanies us in life.

The first Christians depicted hope with an anchor, as though life were an anchor cast on Heaven’s shores and all of us journeying to that shore, clinging to the rope of the anchor.

This is a beautiful image of hope: to have our hearts anchored there, where our beloved predecessors are, where the saints are, where Jesus is, where God is. This is the hope that does not disappoint; All Saints Day and All Souls Day are days of hope.

Hope is a little like leaven that expands our souls. There are difficult moments in life, but with hope the soul goes forward and looks ahead to what awaits us.

Our brothers and sisters are in the presence of God and we shall also be there, through the pure grace of the Lord, if we walk along the way of Jesus. …

Today before evening falls, each one of us can think of the twilight of life: “What will my passing away be like?”

All of us will experience sundown, all of us! Do we look at it with hope? Do we look with that joy at being welcomed by the Lord? This is a Christian thought that gives us hope.

All Saints Day is a day of joy; however it is a serene and tranquil joy, a peaceful joy. Let us think about the passing away of so many of our brothers and sisters who have preceded us. Let us think about the evening of our life, when it will come.

And let us think about our hearts and ask ourselves: “Where is my heart anchored?” If it is not firmly anchored, let us anchor it beyond, on that shore, knowing that hope does not disappoint because the Lord Jesus does not disappoint.

Excerpted from the pope’s homily at the Verano Cemetery on All Saints Day, November 1, 2013