Pope: the world desperately needs hope – and we are the messengers

Pope Francis speaks to pilgrims during his Dec 14 2016 general audience Credit Lucia Ballester CNA Pope Francis speaks to pilgrims during his Dec. 14, 2016, general audience. | Lucia Ballester/CNA.

Pope Francis Wednesday spoke about the hope that the Child Jesus brings at Christmastime, saying it is our duty to be the messengers who bring his message to the world – a world that is thirsting for goodness.

"The message of the Good News entrusted to us is urgent," he said Dec. 14. "We must also run like the messenger of the mountains, because the world cannot wait, humanity is hungry and thirsty for justice, for truth and for peace."

The Pope spoke during his general audience for the third week of Advent, continuing the series of catechesis he began last week on Christian hope.

Focusing on a passage from the Book of Isaiah recounting how the messenger was "announcing peace" and "bringing good news," the Pope said that we are also urged "to wake up, like Jerusalem."

"We are called to become men and women of hope, collaborating in the coming of this kingdom made of light and intended for all."

The most beautiful of all the Christmas joys is the joy of inner peace, the knowledge that "the Lord has blotted out my sins, the Lord has forgiven me, the Lord has had mercy on me, he came to my rescue," Pope Francis said. "This is the joy of Christmas!"

There are so many negative things in the world, we can often become tired and tempted to say that nothing makes sense, Francis said.

However, these are "the reasons for our hope. When everything seems to be over… here was the good news brought by those fast feet: God is coming to do something new, to establish a kingdom of peace."

In light of all that is wrong in the world, we are called to remember God's promise to us, namely, that he would never abandon his people or let them be defeated by evil, the Pope said.

The answer to the questions: "who is greatest, God or sin?" and "what wins in the end? God or sin?" is something we must learn, he said, noting that the answer to both is God, since he is capable of conquering even "the biggest sin, the most shameful, the most terrible, the worst."

"His weapon? Love!" The Pope said, explaining that this love is specifically God's love made Incarnate when he came to us as a child, with all of the same needs as any newborn.

"And seeing the little child of Bethlehem, the little ones of the world will know that the promise was fulfilled, the message has come true," he said. "In a newborn baby, in need of everything, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, it is enclosed all the power of the God who saves."

Christmas is a day to open your heart to the smallness and wonder evoked by that child, he said.

"It is the wonder of Christmas, which we are preparing, with hope, in this Advent season. It is the wonder of a God child, a poor God, a weak God, a God who abandons his greatness to get close to each of us."

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