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Pope Francis reflects on Judith and hope

January 25, 2017

Continuing his weekly series of catechetical addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his January 25 general audience to “Judith: a woman’s courage and the people’s hope.”

“The Old Testament Book of Judith tells how, during the siege of the city of Bethulia by the Assyrian general Holofernes, the people were on the verge of surrendering,” Pope Francis recalled in his address, which he delivered in Paul VI Audience Hall.

“In an apparently hopeless situation, the leaders of the city determined to hold off for five days, trusting that the Lord would come to their aid,” he continued. “At that point, Judith appeared to reinforce their wavering hope in the face of fear and to propose a plan that led to victory over the enemy.”

Pope Francis added:

The example of this woman of great wisdom and courage teaches us to trust in the Lord’s providential care, but also, in prayer and obedience, to discern his will and to do everything in our power to respond to the challenges that come our way. Judith’s faith inspires us to commend ourselves to the Father with the same obedience that led Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, to pray: “Not my will, but yours be done”.


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. Rachel “is weeping for her children”, but... “there is hope for your descendants” (Jer 31) (January 4)
  6. The false hopes of idols (January 11)
  7. Jonah and hope (January 18)
 
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