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‘Earthly hopes fall down before the Cross,’ Pope tells weekly audience

April 12, 2017

“Jesus has brought into the world a new hope,” Pope Francis said at his general audience on April 12, contrasting Christian hope with other sorts of hope.

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The Holy Father reminded his audience that the people who greeted Jesus on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem “placed many hopes in Jesus,” including hopes for “manifestations of power and even freedom from enemy occupiers.” Those hopes were dashed, he continued. “The earthly hopes of those people fell down before the Cross.”

“But we believe that it is precisely in the Crucified that our hope is reborn,” the Pope said. He explained this hope by referring to Christ’s parable of the seed of grain. Jesus “made Himself very small, like an ear of grain,” the Pope said. “Right there, at the most extreme point to which he was lowered—which is also the highest point of love—hope germinated.”

Pope Francis concluded that “this is why with Jesus our darkness can become light, every defeat can become victory, every disappointment can become hope.” Christian hope, he observed, differs from the hope of the world, the hope for material things and for power, because “gradually we discover that the winning way of living is that of the seed, that of humble love.”

The Pontiff remarked the hope comes from the germination of the seed, which in turn comes when the faithful accept their own crosses. He said, however: “The cross is the obligatory passage, but it is not the destination; it is a passage: the destination is glory, as Easter shows 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)
  12. For in this hope, we were saved (cf. Rom. 8:19-27) (February 22)
  13. Lent as a journey of hope (March 1; no audience March 8)
  14. Rejoice in hope (cf. Rom. 12:9-13) (March 15)
  15. On Hope Founded in the Word (March 22)
  16. Hope against All Hope (March 29)
  17. Hopes of the world and hope of the Cross (April 5)


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