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Rediscover hope, proclaim hope, build hope: Pope’s prayer for Church

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FILIPPO MONTEFORTE | AFP

I.Media - published on 05/10/24

"Fear-filled tomorrows" fail to recognize Christ's Resurrection, and that Jesus took our "questioning humanity" into the heart of God.

“Everything, inside and outside us, implores hope and seeks, even without knowing it, the nearness of God,” Pope Francis said in his homily at the Second Vespers of the Ascension, celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on May 9, 2024, after the consignment and reading of the Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee 2025.

The Pontiff prayed that God will give his Church “the grace to rediscover hope, to proclaim hope, to build hope.”

Our society’s despair, the Pope stressed, stems from the fact that it is “often immersed in the present and incapable of looking to the future.” It therefore finds itself suffering in the face of the evils of the present age: the “fear-filled tomorrows” that threaten peoples.

Without hope, “the dream of a fraternal world risks appearing like a mirage,” recognizes Pope Francis. And in the face of this challenge, he notes that the Church often suffers from “the weight of fatigue and fragility.”

But the Pope asks Christians not to forget their mission: “to keep the light of the Gospel” and “to transmit to all the fire that Jesus brought and lit in the world once and for all.”

Armed with hope, they can carry their “dreams that no darkness can extinguish.”

“Singers of hope”

This hope is not “mere human optimism” or “an ephemeral expectation linked to some earthly security,” the Pontiff insisted.

Rather, it finds its “foundation” in Christ’s resurrection, through which he “ascended into heaven and carries our waiting, questioning humanity into the heart of God.”

Christians can therefore be “singers of hope in a world marked by too much despair,” urges the Pope.

Purer faith

Pope Francis concluded his homily with a long quotation from Romano Guardini, one of his spiritual inspirations. The 20th-century German theologian acknowledges that the world around him is moving away from God and that “the Word of the Lord is declining,” but insists on the faithfulness of believers.

“Perhaps God is closer to our glacial age than to the Baroque with its church pomp, to the Middle Ages with its abundance of symbols, to early Christianity with its youthful courage in the face of death,” says Guardini. For, in his view, it is from the fidelity of today’s Christians that “a faith no less valid, perhaps even purer, in any case more intense than ever before, could be born.”

Tags:
HopeJubilee 2025Pope Francis
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