(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis marked Ash Wednesday inviting the faithful to renew their hope in Christ’s promises and their commitment to follow Him ever more closely.
He was addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience.
Please find below the English synopsis of the Pope’s catechesis:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today, Ash Wednesday, we begin our Lenten journey towards Easter. Lent is essentially a pilgrimage of hope, a season of penance and spiritual renewal that prepares us to share more fully in the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. We relive the experience of the Exodus, in which the Chosen People journeyed towards the Promised Land and, through spiritual discipline and the gift of the Law, learned the love of God and neighbour. Easter is Jesus’ own exodus, his passover from death to life, in which we participate through our rebirth in Baptism. By following Christ along the way of the Cross, we share in his victory over sin and death; by living the new life bestowed by the Holy Spirit in the communion of the Church, we are united more fully to the Lord in the sacraments, prayer and adoration. May our celebration of Lent renew our hope in Christ’s promises, and our commitment to follow him ever more closely, so that at Easter, in union with Mary our Mother, we may rejoice in the gift of eternal life and the triumph of God’s saving love.