Benedict XVI Encourages More Faith in Eternal Life

Highlights Christ's Victory Over Sin and Death

Highlights Christ's Victory Over Sin and Death

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 10, 2011 ( Benedict XVI is encouraging greater faith in the life that Christ brings us: both life after death and spiritual life in freedom from sin.

The Pope affirmed this today in an address before praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

He reflected on today's liturgy, in which the readings "all speak of resurrection," in particular, "our resurrection, the one to which we aspire and that Christ himself granted to us, rising from the dead."

"Even among Christians," the Pontiff noted, "faith in the resurrection and eternal life is often accompanied by many doubts and much confusion, because it is a reality that goes beyond the limits of our reason, and requires an act of faith."

"Death is for us like a wall that keeps us from seeing what lies beyond," he said.

"Yet our heart desires to go beyond this wall," the Holy Father added, "and even if we are unable to know what it hides, we nevertheless think about it, we imagine it, we express our yearning for eternity."

Fullness of God

He continued: "Christ destroys the wall of death; in him there dwells the fullness of God, who is life, eternal life.

"For this reason death did not have power over him; and Lazarus' resurrection is the sign of his complete dominion over physical death, which before God is like a dream."

"But there is another death," Benedict XVI pointed out, "which cost Christ the most difficult struggle, indeed the price of the cross."

He explained, "It is spiritual death, sin, which threatens to ruin the existence of every man."

"Christ died to defeat this death, and his resurrection is not a return to the previous life, but the opening to a new reality, a 'new earth,' finally reconnected to God's heaven," the Pope stated.

He urged his listeners, "Let us turn to the Virgin Mary, who already participates in this Resurrection."

"Let us renew our faith in Christ's promises," the Pontiff encouraged, "as we prepare to unite ourselves to the Church's celebration of the Paschal Mystery."

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