Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 1st February 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, today we turn to the earliest writing of the New Testament, Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians. The Apostle writes to confirm this young Christian community in its faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, but he also speaks of the meaning of this mystery for the life of each believer. For Christ is the firstfruits of the future resurrection. Before the mystery of death, and the loss of our loved ones, we Christians are challenged to hope more firmly in the Lord’s promise of eternal life. Paul tells the Thessalonians to wear the hope of salvation like a helmet (1 Thess 5:8), in the knowledge that, because Christ is risen, the object of our hope is certain. Christian hope, then, is a way of life; we live daily in expectation of the resurrection. In that same hope, and in the communion of the Church, we pray too that those who have gone before us will live for ever in Christ. Let us ask the Lord to strengthen us in the sure expectation that one day we will be united with him, and all our loved ones, in the joy of the resurrection.
Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’odierna Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Corea e Stati Uniti d’America. Ringrazio i cori per la loro lode a Dio attraverso il canto. Su tutti voi e sulle vostre famiglie invoco la gioia e la pace del Signore nostro Gesù Cristo. Dio vi benedica!
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from Korea and the United States of America. I thank the choirs for their praise of God in song. Upon all of you, and your families, I cordially invoke an abundance of joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!