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Pope explains the importance of hope during Holy Week

Today the pope continued his weekly catechesis on hope, and emphasized that during Holy Week, a Christian must look to the Cross as a symbol of eternal hope and love.  This love, he said, is "revealed in the mystery of Christ's sacrificial death and his rising to a new life.â? It shows that this "self-giving love that is God's very life can transform darkness into light, sin into forgiveness, and apparent defeat into eternal victory.â?  Pope Francis also recalled that in these holy days of Easter, Christians must contemplate this, so that it can serve as "the inspiration to live in imitation of his undying love.â?  EXCERPTS FROM THE POPE'S CATECHESIS Dear Brothers and Sisters:  During this Holy Week, our continuing catechesis on Christian hope looks to the mystery of the Cross. Unlike worldly hopes, which fail to bring lasting satisfaction, our Christian hope is grounded in Godâ??s eternal love, revealed in the mystery of Christâ??s sacrificial death and his rising to new life.  Jesus, in speaking of his imminent passion and death, uses the image of the seed that must fall to the ground and die, in order to bear fruit. His saving death and resurrection show that the self-giving love that is Godâ??s very life can transform darkness into light, sin into forgiveness, apparent defeat into eternal victory.  The Cross of Christ is thus the source of that unfailing hope which gives meaning and direction to our lives. Beyond the shadow of the Cross, we glimpse the glory to which we are called.  As we celebrate these holy days leading to Easter, may we contemplate in the crucified Lord the source of our lasting hope and the inspiration for our efforts to live in imitation of his undying love. I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in todayâ??s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Nigeria, Australia, Canada and the United States of America. I offer a particular greeting to many student groups present. May this Lenten journey bring all of us to Easter with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. God bless you! JC CTV VM - BN Up:MB