Donate now

Pope’s Morning Homily: Hope Is Silent, Humble, But Strong

At Casa Santa Marta, considers necessity of hope for Christian life

Vatican Radio reports about the Pope’s morning Mass today:

Christian hope is a humble and strong virtue that supports us, so that we do not drown under the many difficulties we face in life. That was Pope Francis’ message at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. The Pope said that hope in the Lord never disappoints us; it’s a font of joy and peace in our hearts.

Jesus speaks with the doctors of the law, and affirmed that Abraham “rejoiced in hope” to see His day. Pope Francis preached his homily on this passage from the day’s Gospel, to show how hope is fundamental in the life of the Christian. Abraham, he said, “had his temptations along the path of hope,” but he believed and obeyed the Lord, and so set out on the journey to the promised land.

Hope takes us forward and gives us joy

There is, then, the Pope said, something like a “thread of hope” that joins “the whole story of salvation” and is a “font of joy.”

Today the Church speaks to us of the joy of hope. In the first prayer of the Mass we asked for the grace of God to keep us in the hope of the Church, because it does not ‘fail.’ And Paul, speaking of our father Abraham, tells us: ‘He believed against all hope.’ When there is no human hope, there is that hope that carries us forward, humble, simple—but it gives a joy, at times a great joy, at times only of peace, but the security that hope does not disappoint: hope doesn’t disappoint.

This “joy of Abraham,” this hope, he continued, “grows throughout history.” “At times,” he admitted, “it is hidden, it is not seen; at times, it is clearly manifested.” Pope Francis cited the example of the pregnant Elizabeth, who rejoiced at the visit of her cousin Mary. It is “the joy of the presence of God,” he said, “that journeys with His people. And where there is joy, there is peace. This is the virtue of hope: from joy to peace. This hope, he repeated, “never disappoints,” not even in “moments of slavery,” when the people of God were in a foreign land.

Hope sustains us, so we don’t drown in difficulties

This “thread of hope” begins with Abraham, who spoke with God, and ends with Jesus. Pope Francis dwelt on the characteristics of this hope. If, in fact, one can say that he has faith and charity, it is more difficult to speak about hope:

We are able to say this [about faith and charity] easily, but when we are asked, ‘Do you have hope? Do you have the joy of hope?’ ‘But, father, I don’t understand, can you explain?’ Hope, that humble virtue, that virtue which flows under the water of life, but that bears us up so we don’t drown in so many difficulties, so we do not lose that desire to find God, to find that wonderful face which we will all see one day: hope.

Hope doesn’t disappoint: it is silent, humble, and strong

Today, the Pope said, “would be a good day to think about this: the same God who called Abraham and made him go out of his own land without knowing where he was going, is the same God who goes to the Cross, to fulfil the promise He made.”

It is the same God who, in the fullness of time, ensures that the promise would become a reality for all of us. And what unites that first moment to this last moment is the thread of hope. And that which unites my Christian life to our Christian life, from one moment to another, in order to always go forward — sinners, but going forward — is hope. And what gives us peace in bad moments, in the darkest moments of life, is hope. Hope doesn’t disappoint: it’s always there: silent, humble, but strong.

Readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 254

Reading 1 GN 17:3-9

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
“My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God.”

God also said to Abraham:
“On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Verse Before The Gospel PS 95:8

If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

Gospel JN 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

About ZENIT Staff

Share this Entry

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation