Paradise is not a fairytale; it’s God’s embrace

Pope Francis reflected today on the criminals who were crucified alongside Christ, as he continued his series of catechesis on Christian hope.

The Holy Father spoke about Heaven, saying it’s not a fairytale. “We look at it as God’s embrace, this is when we enter into His infinite love, His infinite grace. And of course, it’s when we behold God face-to-face in the beatific vision,” explained Ashley Noronha, Vatican Correspondent to Relevant Radio®, in her weekly Wednesday morning Relevant in Rome segment on Morning Air® with John Harper.

When we die, we will stand before God with “empty hands,” says Noronha. “It’s not that we get a certain amount of points – and that’s not what determines our entry into heaven, he said. But instead, God is waiting for everyone and it’s up to us to choose Him.”

“The Holy Father also pointed out that in this particular account, this is the only time that the word Paradise appears in the Gospel, and Jesus promises it to a criminal! But, he’s a criminal who had the courage to recognize his own sins. And then when he was self aware enough to make that recognition, he then begged for mercy,” said Noronha. That is what we are all called to do, said Pope Francis, and Jesus wants to lead us to heaven.

“We all need to remember that it’s with Christ that there’s mercy and joy, and without Him it’s cold and dark. We must take our hope in the mercy and joy that is Christ.”

Are you choosing eternal life in heaven by how you live your life?


Listen to the segment below to hear about the Pope’s remarks and other news from Rome

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.