(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis continued his series of catechetical reflections on “Christian Hope” during his weekly General Audience on Wednesday. The Holy Father based his reflection on the prophecy of Jeremiah: Rachel “weeping for her children,” but… “There is hope for your future” (Jeremiah 31:15-17).
Below, please find the full text of the official English-language summary of Pope Francis’ catechesis for 4 January 2017:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we now turn to the figure of Rachel, the wife of Jacob, who died giving birth to her second child. The prophet Jeremiah evokes Rachel’s tears – the tears of a mother who weeps for her children and would not be consoled – to describe the sorrow of the Chosen People at the time of the Exile. Anyone familiar with the grief of a mother who has lost a child knows the power of this image. In response to Rachel’s tears, God offers a word of consolation by promising new life in the return of the exiles (cf. Jer 31:15-17). In this Christmas season, we read Jeremiah’s prophecy on the feast of the Holy Innocents. In the Gospel for that day, Saint Matthew also evokes Rachel’s tears to describe the grief of those mothers who saw their children killed before their eyes, victims of a tyranny that despises and destroys life. Yet it is in Mary, standing at the foot of the cross, that the prophecy is truly fulfilled. Our Lady’s tears for the death of her Son bear fruit in new hope and new life for all those who, through faith, become her children in the body of the Risen Christ, which is the Church.