They are "tortured, killed, just because they carry on their traditions, their Muslim faith." Christian hope is not only personal, but it has a "Community, ecclesial breath", all are called to pray for one another and invoke the Holy Spirit, to "make us understand that we need not fear that the Lord is near, and takes care of us; and it is He who shapes our communities. "
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Christian hope is not only personal, but it has a " Community, ecclesial breath " all are called to pray for one another and invoke the Holy Spirit, to "make us understand that we need not fear that the Lord is near, and takes care of us; and it is He who shapes our communities". "Hope as a source of mutual comfort and peace" was the theme of Pope Francis’ catechesis at the general audience today.
There were seven thousand people present in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican. Addressing them the Pope also recalled the beatification, which took place yesterday, the Japanese layman Justo Takayama Ukon, and today's day of prayer and reflection against trafficking in persons, this year dedicated in particular to children and adolescents. " I urge all those in government positions to combat this scourge with firmness, giving voice to our younger brothers and sisters who have been wounded in their dignity. All efforts must be made to eradicate this shameful and intolerable crime ". Talking about "migrants chased away, exploited," Francis urged us to pray " for our Rohingya brothers and sisters who are being chased from Myanmar and are fleeing from one place to another because no one wants them.” “They are good people, they are not Christians, they are peaceful people, they are our brothers and sisters and for years they have been suffering, they are being tortured and killed, simply because they uphold their Muslim faith” he said.
Previously, continuing the series of reflections on the theme of Christian hope, Francis recalled that "last Wednesday we have seen that St. Paul, in the First Letter to the Thessalonians, exhorts to remain grounded in the hope of the resurrection (cf. 5.4 to 11), with that beautiful word ' we shall be forever with the Lord'. In the same context, the Apostle shows that Christian hope is not just of personal, individual breath, but communal and ecclesial. We all hope. We all hope, but also as a community. "
"For this, our gaze is immediately drawn from Paul to all the organizations that make up the Christian community, asking them to pray for one another and to support each other. Help each other. But not only help us in times of need, in the many needs of daily life, but help us in hope, sustain us in hope. It is no coincidence he first addresses those who are entrusted with responsibility and pastoral guidance. They are the first to be called upon to provide hope, and this not because they are better than others, but by virtue of a divine ministry that goes far beyond their strength. For this reason, they have all the more need of respect, understanding and benevolent support of everyone”.
"The focus is then placed on brothers most at risk of losing hope, falling into despair. But we always have accounts of people who fall into despair and do bad things, no? The 'lack of hope' leads them to many bad things ... The reference is to those who are discouraged, those who are weak, to those who feel pulled down by the weight of life and of their own faults and are no longer able to rise up. In these cases, the closeness and warmth of the whole Church must be even more intense and loving, and should take the exquisite form of compassion, which is not mercy: compassion is to suffer with others, suffer with the other, closer to the one who suffers with a word, a caress, but that comes from the heart, huh? That is compassion! They need comfort and encouragement. This is all the more important: Christian hope cannot do without genuine and concrete charity. The Apostle of the Gentiles, in the Letter to the Romans, says with his heart in hand: "We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves"(15.1). To put up eh? To bear the weaknesses of others. This witness then does not remaining closed within the confines of the Christian community: It resounds in all its force even outside, in the social and civil world, as a call not to create walls but bridges, not to repay evil with evil, to defeat evil with good, offense with forgiveness: the Christian can never say you'll pay. Never! This is not a Christian gesture! The offense you defeat with forgiveness; to live in peace with everyone. This is the Church! And this is what operates Christian hope, when it takes on strong characteristics but at the same time is tender love. It is s a strong and tender love. It's nice".
"So it will understand that you do not learn to hope alone. No one learns to hope alone. It is not possible. Hope, to be nourished, needs a "body", in which the members may sustain and enliven each other. This then means that, if we hope, it is because so many of our brothers and sisters have taught us to hope and have kept our hope alive. And among these, there are the small, the poor, the simple, the marginalized. Yes, because those only concerned with their own well-being do not know hope: they only hope in their welfare and that is not hope: it is relative security; Those who only concern themselves with their own satisfaction, who always feel right do not know hope... To hope are those who are tested who experience, precariousness and its limits every day. These are our brothers to give us the most beautiful, strongest testimony, because they remain firm in entrusting to the Lord, knowing that, beyond sadness, oppression and the inevitability of death, the last word will be His, and it will be a word of mercy, life and peace. Whoever hopes, he hopes one day to hear this word: 'Come, come to me, brother; Come, come to me, sister, for all eternity".
"Dear friends, if - as we said - the natural home of hope is a" body "in solidarity, in the case of Christian hope this body is the Church, while the breath of life, the soul of this hope is the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit you cannot have hope. That's why the Apostle Paul invites us to continually invoke it at the end. If it is not easy to believe, neither is it easy to hope. It 's more difficult to hope than to believe, huh? It is more difficult. But when the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts, He has to make us understand that we need not fear, that the Lord is at hand and takes care of us; and it is He to shape our communities, in a perennial Pentecost, as living signs of hope for the human family ".