In morning homily, reflects on how we have an anchor in Heaven and we cannot “make a nest” here
Citing the First Reading, Pope Francis used this image during his homily at Mass today in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Hope is this living in tension, always; knowing that we cannot make a nest here: The life of the Christian is “in ongoing tension.”
The Holy Father has on various occasions spoken of the ancient image of hope found in the anchor, holding fast to Heaven. For example, in his general audience series on hope, he reflected:
The Letter to the Hebrews compares hope to an anchor (cf. 6:18-19); and we can add to this image that of a sail. If the anchor is what gives the boat its stability and keeps it “anchored” amid the undulations of the sea, the sail is instead what makes it move and advance on the waters. Hope is truly like a sail; it gathers the wind of the Holy Spirit and transforms it into a driving force that propels the boat, as the case may be, out to sea or to the shore.
Pope Francis added today that it can be difficult to understand hope. If we speak of faith, we refer to “faith in God who created us, in Jesus who redeemed us, and to reciting the Creed and to knowing concrete things about faith.” If we speak of charity, it concerns “doing good to one’s neighbor, to others, many works of charity that are done to others.”
But hope is difficult to understand: It is “the most humble of virtues” that “only the poor can have.”
If we want to be men and women of hope, we must be poor, poor, not attached to anything. Poor. And open. Hope is humble, and it is a virtue that we work at – so to speak – every day: every day we have to take it back, every day we have to take the rope and see that the anchor is fixed there and I hold it in my hand; every day we have to remember that we have the security, that it is the Spirit who works in us with small things.
The Holy Father spoke of the patience of hope, as the farmer waits for a mustard seed to grow, without needing to check it every day.
As Paul says, “hope needs patience.” It is “the patience of knowing that we sow, but it is God who gives growth.”
“Hope is artisanal, small,” the pope continued, “it is sowing a grain and letting the land give growth.”
It is not easy to live in hope, but I would say that it should be the air that a Christian breathes, the air of hope. … Hope – yes, it’s true – gives us security: hope does not disappoint. Never. If you hope, you will not be disappointed.
We must open ourselves up to that promise of the Lord, leaning towards that promise, but knowing that there is the Spirit that works in us.
May the Lord give us, to all of us, this grace of living in tension, in tension but not through nerves, problems, no: in tension through the Holy Spirit who throws us to the other shore and keeps us in hope.
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