Pope Francis: Christians Must ‘Hope Against Hope’

Dec. 28 catechesis on Christian hope during the Christmas Octave

Pope Francis contemplates the Vatican Nativity scene.
Pope Francis contemplates the Vatican Nativity scene. (photo: Instagram.com/Franciscus)

The following is the Dec. 28 general audience translation from Vatican.va:

Dear brothers and sisters: Our continuing catechesis on Christian hope leads us in these Christmas days to consider the example of Abraham, who, as St. Paul tells us, “hoped against hope” in God’s promises.

Trusting in the Lord’s word that a son would be born to him, Abraham left his home for a new land. Although the fulfilment of God’s promise was long delayed and seemed to be impossible, Abraham continued to hope.

Even his discouragement and complaints were a sign of his continuing trust in God. Abraham, our father in faith, shows us that sure trust in God’s word does not mean that we will not have moments of uncertainty, disappointment and bewilderment. It was at such a moment that God appeared to Abraham, called him forth from his tent and showed him the night sky shining with countless stars, assuring him that such would be the number of his descendents.

Hope is always directed to the future, to the fulfilment of God’s promises. May the example of Abraham teach us to not be afraid to go out from our own tents, our limited outlooks, and to lift our eyes to the stars.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s audience, particularly those from Bangladesh and the United States of America. May each of you, and your families, cherish the joy of Christmas and draw near in prayer to the Savior, who has come to dwell among us. God bless you!

Representing the Holy Spirit that descended “like a dove” and hovered over Jesus when he was baptized.

Bishop Burbidge: The Pandemic is Our ‘Pentecost Moment’

This “21st century Pentecost moment” brought on by the pandemic, Bishop Michael Burbidge said, has underscored the need for good communication in the Church across all forms of media, in order to invite people into the fullness of the Gospel.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.

Representing the Holy Spirit that descended “like a dove” and hovered over Jesus when he was baptized.

Bishop Burbidge: The Pandemic is Our ‘Pentecost Moment’

This “21st century Pentecost moment” brought on by the pandemic, Bishop Michael Burbidge said, has underscored the need for good communication in the Church across all forms of media, in order to invite people into the fullness of the Gospel.