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Pope Francis reflects on ‘false hopes and worldly idols’

January 11, 2017

Continuing his weekly series of catechetical addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his January 11 general audience to the “false hope of idols.”

“The Scriptures teach us that side by side with authentic hope, born of trust in God’s word, we can be tempted by false hopes and worldly idols, like money, power or physical beauty,” Pope Francis said to those gathered in Paul VI Audience Hall. “Hope in God demands strength and perseverance, whereas these false gods promise an easy security, a future we can control.”

The Pope added:

The Psalmist denounces this kind of idolatry, stating that those who put their trust in images that are the work of human hands, will come to be like them: spiritually blind, deaf and insensible.

God is always greater than we are, and we, created in his image and likeness, cannot reduce him to our size or fabricate other gods, made in our own image and tailored to our desires. By trusting in God’s word and hoping in his promises, we become more and more like him, sharing in his life and rejoicing in his provident care, revealed in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus his Son.


Previous general audiences on hope:

  1. Isaiah 40: “Comfort, comfort my people…” (December 7)
  2. Isaiah 52: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings…” (December 14)
  3. Christ’s birth is the source of hope (December 21)
  4. Abraham’s hope against all hope (December 28)
  5. Because of the Tears of the Mother, There Is Hope for the Children (January 4)

References:

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