08/23/2017, 11.34
VATICAN
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Pope: Hope. We Christians are a people of spring more than autumn

by Papa Francesco

At the general audience in Paul VI hall, Pope Francis emphasizes the foundation of the future positivity of Christians: God who makes "all new things". "There is a Father weeping with tears of infinite pity for his children. A Father who waits for us to console us, because He knows our sufferings and has prepared a different future for us. " "It is not Christian to walk with a downward gaze, without looking up at the horizon." Present pilgrims from Lebanon, Syria, Middle East, India, Vietnam.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - We Christians " are a people of spring time rather than autumn: we see the sprouts of a new world rather than the yellowed leaves on the branches." This was the message that Pope Francis shared at the general audience today in the Paul VI hall, filled with pilgrims from all over the world, including from Asia: Lebanon, Syria, India, Vietnam, ...

The theme of today's audience - in the series dedicated to Christian hope - was a commentary on the words of Revelations, "Behold, I make all things new" (Acts 21: 5). The pontiff illustrated in many ways this power of novelty and hope in the lives of Christians: "We believe that our most beautiful days are yet to come ... We do not cry in nostalgia, regrets and lamentations: we know that God wants us to inherit a promise and be tireless dream-makers. " Here is the complete text of Pope Francis's catechesis.

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

We have heard the Word of God in the Book of Revelation: "Behold, I make all things new" (21: 5). Christian hope is based on faith in God who always creates novelties in man's life, history, and cosmos. Novelty and surprise.

It is not Christian to walk with a downward gaze, without lifting our eyes to the horizon. As if all of our paths extinguished themselves there, in the breadth of a few meters of journey; As if there was no destination and no port in our lives, and we were forced to an eternal wandering, without any reason for so much effort.

The final pages of the Bible show us the last horizon of the believer's journey: Heavenly Jerusalem. It is imagined above all as an immense tent, where God will welcome all men to live definitively with them (Acts 21: 3). And what will God do, when we are finally be with Him? He will have infinite tenderness for us, like a father who welcomes his sons who have long struggled and suffered. John prophesizes in Revelations: "Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race! [...]He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away [...]Behold, I make all things new! "(21, 3-5).

Try to meditate this passage of Sacred Scripture not in an abstract way, but after reading a chronicle of our day, where sad news is brought to the attention of all of us. Try thinking about the faces of children afraid of war, mothers crying, broken dreams of so many young people, refugees who face terrible trips ... unfortunately this too is life. Sometimes, we could be led to say that life is above all this.

But There is a Father weeping with tears of infinite pity for his children. A Father who waits for us to console us, because He knows our sufferings and has prepared a different future for us. This is the great vision of Christian hope that expands over all the days of our existence, and it wants us to rise again.

God did not desire our lives by mistake, forcing Himself and us to hard nights of anguish. He has created us because He wants us happy. He is our Father, and if we here, now, experience a life that is not what He wanted for us, Jesus assures us that God Himself is operating His redemption.

We believe and know that death and hatred are not the last words pronounced on the parable of human existence. Being a Christian implies a new perspective: a gaze full of hope. Some believe that life retains all its happiness in youth and in the past, and that living is a slow decay. Others still feel that our joys are only episodic and passing, and in the life of men is written without sense. But we Christians do not believe this. We believe instead that in the humanity’s horizon there is a sun that shines forever. We believe our most beautiful days have yet to come. We are more people of springtime than of autumn: we see the sprouts of a new world rather than the yellowed leaves on the branches. We do not cry in nostalgia, regret and lamentation: we know that God wants us to inherit a promise and be tireless dream-makers.

The Christian knows that the Kingdom of God, its lordship of love is growing like a great field of grain, even though there are the weeds in its midst. And in the end evil will be eradicated. The future does not belong to us, but we know that Jesus Christ is the greatest grace of life: it is the embrace of God who is waiting for us in the end, but who already accompanies us and consoles us on our journey. He leads us to the great "tent" of God with humanity (cf. Acts 21: 3), with many of other brothers and sisters, and we will bring to God the memory of the days lived down there. And it will be nice to find out at that moment that nothing was lost, no smile and no tears. However long our life may have been,  it will seem to us to have been lived in a breath. And that creation did not stop on the sixth day of Genesis, but continued tirelessly, because God has always been worried about us. Until the day when everything will be done, in the morning when the tears will extinct, at the very instant in which God will utter His last word of blessing: "Behold, I make all things new" (v. 5). Yes, our Father is the God of novelty and surprises. And that day we will be truley happy, and we shall weep with joy.

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