"Each time we are confronted with death, or that of a loved one, we feel that our faith is tested. All our doubts emerge". "Our resurrection and that of loved ones, then, is not something that will happen or not, but it's a certain reality, as it is rooted in the event of the resurrection of Christ. Hope therefore means learning to live in expectation".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Christian hope "is not something that will happen or not, rather it's a certain reality, as it is rooted in the event of the resurrection of Christ. Hope therefore means learning to live in expectation ". Continuing in the catechesis dedicated to hope, Pope Francis, who in recent weeks had spoken of hope in the Old Testament, today began to speak of it in light of the New Testament, focusing his meditation on The helmet of hope (1 Thessalonians 5,4- 11).
To seven thousand people present in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican, Francis wanted to bring to light "the extraordinary scope that this virtue takes on in the New Testament, when it encounters the novelty of Jesus Christ and the Easter event Christian hope. As Christians, we are men and women of hope. "
"When Paul writes to the community of Thessalonica it has just been founded, and only a few years separate it from the Resurrection of Christ; it was just a few years later! For this, the Apostle tries to encompass all the effects and consequences that this unique and decisive event, that is, the resurrection of the Lord, and what it implies for the history and for the life of each individual. In particular, the difficulty of the community was not so much to recognize the resurrection of Jesus, everyone believed this, but to believe in the resurrection of the dead. In this sense, this letter is more timely than ever. Every time we are confronted with death, or that of a loved one, we feel that our faith is tested. All our doubts emerge, all our weaknesses, and we ask ourselves: "But is there really life after death ...? Can I still see and embrace the people I loved ...?". A lady asked me this question a few days ago in an audience: 'I will meet my family?'. A doubt ... We too, in the current environment, need to return to the root and foundation of our faith, so as to become aware of what God has done for us in Christ Jesus and what it means for our death. We all have a little 'fear of death, because of this uncertainty, no? Here is Paul's word. An old man, an good, elderly man, comes to my mind who said, 'I am not afraid of death. I am a little afraid of seeing it come’. He was afraid of that. "
"Paul, faced with the fears and concerns of the community, calls on them to hold firm the hope of salvation like a helmet, especially in trials and in the most difficult moments of our lives,". " It is a helmet. This is what Christian hope is. When speaking of hope, we may be brought to understand it according to the common sense of the term, namely in reference to something beautiful that we want, but that may be realized maybe not. We hope that it happens, but ... hopefully, as a wish, right? It is said for example: "I hope that there is good weather tomorrow!"; but we know that the next day could bring bad weather ... Christian hope is not so. Christian hope is the expectation of something that has already been accomplished. " "There's the door there, and I hope to get to the door! What should I do? Walk to the door! I'm sure you'll get the door. This is Christian hope. Christian hope is the expectation of something that has already been accomplished and that certainly will be realized for each of us. Our resurrection and that of loved ones, then, is not something that will happen or not, but it's a certain reality, as it is rooted in the event of the resurrection of Christ. Hope therefore means learning to live in expectation. Learning to live in expectation and find life. When a woman realizes she is pregnant, every day she learns to live while waiting to see the look of that child that will come ... We too have to live and learn from these human expectations and to live in expectation of seeing the Lord. This is not easy, but you learn to live in expectation. Hope implies a humble heart, a poor heart. It is the poor who wait. Those who are already full of themselves and their possessions, cannot place their trust in anyone else but themselvesf. "
"Even St. Paul writes:" He [Jesus] died for us so that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him "(1 Thessalonians 5:10). These words are always a source of great consolation and peace. Also for loved ones who have left us we are called to pray that they may live in Christ and are in full communion with us. One thing that touches me deeply is an expression of Paul, again addressed to the Thessalonians. It fills me with the security of hope. He says this: "And so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Nice thing ... Everything passes. But, after death, forever we are with the Lord. It is the total certainty of hope, the same which, long ago, made Job exclaim: "I know that my Redeemer lives [...]. I shall see for myself, mine eyes shall behold "(Job 19,25.27)". "And so shall we ever be with the Lord. Do you believe this? I ask you: do you believe this? ("Yes"). More or less, eh! But to have a little 'strength I invite you to say this three times with me:' And so shall we ever be with the Lord '. All together: 'And so shall we ever be with the Lord ', 'And so shall we ever be with the Lord, 'And so shall we ever be with the Lord '. And there, with the Lord, we will meet. "
At the time of greetings, the Pope addressed, among other things, "a friendly welcome to the delegation of the World Catholic Movement for Climate and thank them for their commitment to care for our common home during these serious social and environmental crisis . I encourage you to continue to build networks so that local churches respond with determination to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor ".