(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday encouraged the faithful to strive to be living signs of hope for the entire human family.
Speaking during the weekly General Audience in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope continued his catechesis on Christian hope, conceding that especially in times of darkness and difficulty, hope is no easy virtue.
Quoting from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians he pointed out that Paul encourages the members of the early Church to sustain one another in hope through mutual prayer and practical concern for those in need.
“We must help one another, he said, in the many needs of everyday life, but also when we are in need of hope.” And he referred in particular to those who have the responsibility of providing pastoral guidance, whom he said, on the one hand have the force and the strength of a divine ministry, but on the other are in need of the respect, the comprehension and the support of all.
Underlining the fact that Christian hope is intensely personal yet also communitarian, the Pope said that help and support must be given especially to the poor, the weak in faith, the suffering and those tempted to despair.
He said that no one can learn to hope on their own, because Christian hope needs to be “embodied” in a community of mutual support and loving concern.
“He who hopes, the Pope said, hopes one day to hear these words: come to me my brother, come to me my sister, for the whole of eternity” he said.
Concluding that the body is the Church and its soul is the Holy Spirit, and conceding that especially in times of darkness and difficulty, hope is no easy virtue, Pope Francis said when the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts, it is He who 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.