Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 25 January 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we turn today to the story of Judith. The Old Testament Book of Judith tells how, during the siege of the city of Bethulia by the Assyrian general Holofernes, the people were on the verge of surrendering. In an apparently hopeless situation, the leaders of the city determined to hold off for five days, trusting that the Lord would come to their aid. At that point, Judith appeared to reinforce their wavering hope in the face of fear and to propose a plan that led to victory over the enemy. The example of this woman of great wisdom and courage teaches us to trust in the Lord’s providential care, but also, in prayer and obedience, to discern his will and to do everything in our power to respond to the challenges that come our way. Judith’s faith inspires us to commend ourselves to the Father with the same obedience that led Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, to pray: “Not my will, but yours be done”.
Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’odierna Udienza, specialmente i gruppi provenienti dagli Stati Uniti d’America. Nel contesto della Settimana di Preghiera per l’Unità dei Cristiani, rivolgo un saluto particolare agli alunni dell’Istituto Ecumenico di Bossey e al coro di Westminster Abbey, che ringrazio per la 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 the United States of America. During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity I offer a special greeting to the group from the Bossey Ecumenical Institute and to the choir of Westminster Abbey, whom I thank 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!