In the course of the General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, he greeted the delegation of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM). The objective of the Movement is, notably, to sensitize Catholics through its networks, to promote ecological conversion “towards a low carbon society” and to require leaders to “engage in an ambitious climatic action.”
He thanked them for their “engagement in protecting our common home, in these times of grave socio-environmental crisis.”
“I encourage you to continue to weave networks so that the local Churches will respond with determination to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor,” continued the Pontiff.
In the crowd, the GCCM delegation waved banners greeting Pope Francis’ encyclical on integral ecology: “Cheers for Laudato Si’.”
In the main body of his February 1st 2017 General Audience speech , Pope Francis spoke of Christian hope which is also the “expectation of the resurrection”.
Continuing his catecheses on Christian hope, the Pope meditated on the “helmet of hope” of salvation, of which Saint Paul speaks (1 Thessalonians 5:4-11). During the catechesis in Italian, he invited the crowd in Paul VI Hall to repeat Saint Paul’s words: “So we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians: 4-17).
He invited to “pray for loved ones who have left us, who live with Christ and in communion with us.
Synthesis in English of Pope Francis’ catechesis
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 first fruits 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.”
(c) Translation by ZENIT, Virginia Forrester