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Pope Francis reflects on creation and hope

February 22, 2017

Continuing his weekly series of catechetical addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his February 15 general audience to a text from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 8:19-27).

St. Paul, said Pope Francis, reminds us that creation, “rather than being something we possess and use for own pleasure,” is “God’s gift, which reveals to us his loving plan.”

“But when we are self-centered and commit sin, we break our communion with God, and the original beauty of human nature and creation is marred,” the Pope told those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “Thus, rather than show God’s infinite love, creation bears the wounds of human pride.”

“The Lord, however, does not abandon us, but offers us a new horizon of freedom and salvation,” the Pope continued. “St. Paul reminds us of this truth, by inviting us to hear the groaning of all people and things, and even the groaning of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. These groans are not sterile, but speak of the pangs of birth, the ushering in of new life.”

The Pope added:

Despite the many signs of our sins and failings, we know that we are saved by the Lord, and even now contemplate and experience within ourselves and all around us signs of the Resurrection, a new creation. We know that Jesus wants to heal us and creation once and for all, and reconcile us in his love.

Let us see ourselves and the world with Christ’s eyes. And when we are discouraged or tempted to despair, let us remember that the Holy Spirit comes to our aid, to keep alive our cries to God, and to reveal new heavens and a new earth which he is preparing for us.

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)
  9. The helmet of hope (1 Thess. 5:4-11) (February 1)
  10. Hope, Source of Mutual Comfort and Peace (1 Thess. 5:12-22) (February 8)
  11. Hope Does Not Disappoint (February 15)


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