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Pope in General Audience: He warns of false idols that bring false hopes

Today in the General Audience, Pope Francis continued his theme of hope, saying that after the Christmas season has ended, Christians must remember to look for strength and hope in God and His Word, rather than the false promises of the world.  He said that God is always greater than man, who is created in his image and likeness. Thus, man cannot reduce Him to his size or fabricate other gods, who are made out of the flesh and tailored to worldly desires. SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH  Dear Brothers and Sisters:  In these first days of the new year, following our celebration of the seasons of Advent and Christmas, with their message of the fulfillment of Godâ??s promises in the coming of the Savior, we now continue our catechesis on Christian hope. The Scriptures teach us that side by side with authentic hope, born of trust in Godâ??s word, we can be tempted by false hopes and worldly idols, like money, power or physical beauty. Hope in God demands strength and perseverance, whereas these false gods promise an easy security, a future we can control. The Psalmist denounces this kind of idolatry, stating that those who put their trust in images that are the work of human hands, will come to be like them: spiritually blind, deaf and insensible. God is always greater than we are, and we, created in his image and likeness, cannot reduce Him to our size or fabricate other gods, made in our own image and tailored to our desires. By trusting in Godâ??s word and hoping in his promises, we become more and more like Him, sharing in His life and rejoicing in His provident care, revealed in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus his Son. I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in todayâ??s Audience, particularly those from Australia, Japan and the United States of America. Upon you and your families, I cordially invoke and abundance of joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you! MB