Pope Francis: Christian hope was born on Easter morning


Our faith was born with the Risen Jesus on Easter morning. That was Pope Francis message at his General Audience today, as he continued his catechesis on the meaning of our Christian hope.

Reflecting on the words of St Paul to the early Christian community in Corinth, the Pope said Jesus himself is our hope and his resurrection is the event that grounds our faith. Without it, he said, Christianity would be a mere human philosophy and Jesus would simply be another great religious figure.

Pope Francis said our belief is based on the testimony of those who encountered the risen Christ, from Saint Peter and the group of the twelve disciples, to Saint Paul, who was converted by his dramatic meeting with the Lord on the road to Damascus. Following that encounter, Paul, who previously persecuted Christians, becomes instead an apostle of the faith.

The Pope said that encountering Christ in faith is always a surprise; it is a grace given to those whose hearts are open. It overturns our comfortable existence and opens us to an unexpected future, sowing life and light in place of death and sorrow. Even though we are all sinners, he said, we too can go to the tomb, see the stone rolled away and realise that God has an unexpected future for each one of us.

This is the reason for our Easter joy, the Pope said: in the risen Jesus, who dwells in our midst, we encounter the power of God’s love, which triumphs over death, bringing new life and undying hope. During this Easter season, he concluded, let us continue to cry from our hearts that Jesus is risen and lives among us here, today.

The text of the official English summary of the Pope's catechesis follows:

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In these joyful days of Easter, our continuing catechesis on Christian hope looks to the Risen Jesus. Saint Paul tells the Corinthians that Jesus himself is our hope. His resurrection is the event that grounds our faith; without our confident belief in its historical reality, the Christian faith would be a mere human philosophy, and Jesus himself simply another great religious figure. Our belief is based on the testimony of those who encountered the Risen Christ, from Saint Peter and the group of the Twelve to Saint Paul, who was converted by his dramatic meeting with the Lord on the road to Damascus. Encountering Christ in faith is always a surprise; it is a grace given to those whose hearts are open. It overturns our comfortable existence and opens us to an unexpected future, sowing life and light in place of death and sorrow. This is the reason for our Easter joy: in the risen Jesus, who dwells in our midst, we encounter the power of God’s love, which triumphs over death and brings ever new life and undying hope.

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