Catholic World News

Pope reflects on link between Christian hope, mutual support

February 08, 2017

Continuing his weekly series of catechetical addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his February 8 general audience to hope as the “font of mutual comfort and peace.”

“In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we have seen that the virtue of hope is rooted in the Lord’s resurrection and its promise of our own,” Pope Francis said in his address, which he delivered in Paul VI Audience Hall. “Christian hope is intensely personal yet also communitarian.”

“St. Paul frequently encourages the members of the early Church to sustain one another in hope, through mutual prayer and practical concern for those in need,” the Pope continued. “This support must be given especially to the poor, the weak in faith, the suffering and those tempted to despair.”

The Pope added:

Christian hope, necessarily linked to charity, needs to be “embodied” in a community of mutual support and loving concern. That body is the Church and its soul is the Holy Spirit.

Our witness of hope in Christ’s promises is meant to expand and enrich the life of society as a whole. We know that, especially in times of darkness and difficulty, hope is no easy virtue. Yet the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts teaches us to trust in the Lord’s provident care and to strive constantly, in our communities, to be living signs of hope for the entire human family.

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: hope and prayer (January 18)
  8. Judith, the Courage of a Woman Restores Hope to a People (January 25)


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