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Pope in General Audience: hope amidst the suffering of violence and war

Pope Francis continued his theme of hope in Wednesday's General Audience. This time, he incorporated the recent world events of terrorism and encouraged all Christians to remember that they are equipped with hope and “a larger horizon” to look forward to Heaven. 

He reminded those present that there “is a Father who weeps with infinite compassion for His children, and who waits to console them with a very different future.”

SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

As we continue to explore the virtue of Christian hope, we discover in the final pages of the Bible that the ultimate destination of our Christian pilgrimage will be the heavenly Jerusalem.

On this pilgrimage we encounter the God of surprises who treats us with infinite tenderness, like a father welcoming his children home after a long and difficult journey.

Even if many experience life as a prolonged period of suffering – think of the fearful faces of those haunted by violence and war – still there is a Father who weeps with infinite compassion for his children, and who waits to console them with a very different future.

We believe that neither death nor hatred have the last word, for we Christians see, with great hope, a larger horizon: the Kingdom of God, where all evil is banished forever.

It is Jesus himself who is the light of this new future, and who even now accompanies us on our way. Creation did not stop on the sixth day of Genesis, because God is continually looking after us, always ready to pronounce his blessing: “Behold, I make all things new! (Rev 21:5).”

I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, India and Vietnam.

In a particular way, I extend a warm welcome to pilgrims from the Cardjin Community International on the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, and I encourage them in their generous service to the Gospel.

May Jesus Christ confirm all of you in faith and make you witnesses of his love in the world. God bless you!