December 9, 2013

The thought of death and losing a loved one is scary when there is no faith in Jesus guiding people to an everlasting life, Pope Francis said.

"If we live united with Jesus, are faithful to him, we will be able to face with hope and serenity even the coming of death," he said during his general audience Nov. 27.

In his catechesis, he said death touches everyone and can make people question the meaning of life.

If death is seen as the final end, it's frightening and "becomes a threat that shatters every dream, every prospect, severs every relationship and interrupts every journey," the pope said.

In that way, life is seen as a finite timeline that begins at birth and ends at death; there is nothing beyond earthly life and earthly life is lived as if God didn't exist, he said.

"Jesus' resurrection gives not only the certainty of life after death, but shines light on the mystery of the death of each one of us" and offers consolation, he said.

"If we open the door of our life and our hearts to the least of our brothers, then also our death will become a door that will lead us to heaven," he said.