Having concluded his series of Wednesday general audiences on mercy, Pope Francis has turned to the topic of Christian hope.
“Today we begin a new series of catecheses dealing with Christian hope,” he said in Paul VI Audience Hall on December 7. “In these times, when evil often seems to have the upper hand, hope comforts us with the assurance of Christ’s lordship, his victory over sin, and his constant presence in our midst.”
“In this Advent season, we hear once more the great message of consolation spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘Comfort, comfort my people,’” he continued, according to the official English-language synthesis of his remarks. “The prophet tells us that God promises to bring his people home from their exile in a foreign land and that he desires that a way be prepared for him through the desert.”
Pope Francis added:
This summons to renewed faith and trust in God’s saving power is also addressed to us. Saint John the Baptist, preaching in the desert of Judea, echoed these words as he prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. The Scriptures show us how Christ’s birth was prepared for by men and women – like Mary, Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth – who never lost their trust in God’s promises. May we imitate their hope, and await the coming of the Savior, who turns the desert of our lives into a garden of delight.