Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today we begin a new series of catecheses dealing with Christian hope. 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”. 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. 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 Saviour, who turns the desert of our lives into a garden of delight.
Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’odierna Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Danimarca, Spagna, Nigeria, Australia e Stati Uniti d’America. A ciascuno di voi, e alle vostre famiglie, giunga l’augurio di un fecondo cammino di Avvento, per riconoscere, a Natale, in quel Bambino, il Salvatore nostro. Dio vi benedica!
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Denmark, Spain, Nigeria, Australia and the United States of America. I pray that each of you, and your families, may experience a blessed Advent, in preparation for the coming of the newborn Saviour at Christmas. God bless you!