It was the last catechesis before Christmas, and in the atmosphere there was a special warmth. On the sides of the central passageway of Paul VI Audience Hall the pilgrims tried to get the pope's attention to see if they could get a handshake or a blessing.
Pope Francis continued with his audiences about hope. The pope said that the arrival of God to the world, which is celebrated in Christmas, gives strength to the lives of men. It helps them to carry on despite difficulties.
"Hope never stops. Hope is always on the move, and it makes us be on the move. We can ask ourselves: "Do I journey in hope, or is my interior life stopped, shut down? Is my heart a closed drawer or an open drawer to the hope that helps us journey with Jesus? It is a good question.”
Pope Francis asked Christians to spend time contemplating the nativity scene that is in every home. In it, one can see how God comes to this world in the shape of a poor and defenselesss baby, to teach people that only He is necessary to be happy.
"Let's get this into our heads. Our own reassurances will not save us. Our own reassurances will not save us. The only reassurance that really saves is hope in God, that which saves, that is strong and it makes us walk in life with joy, with desire to do good, to be happy for all of eternity.”
This general audience was the pope's last public appearance before Christmas Mass. At the end of the audience, he called for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so authorities and all of society foster peace and reconciliation.