Pope Francis greets the crowd at the end of a weekly general audience at St. Peter's Square on May 31 at the Vatican. (Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP)
Christians are called to be "sowers of hope," consoling and defending the poor and anyone in need, Pope Francis said.
As Christians prepared to celebrate Pentecost June 4, Pope Francis used his weekly general audience May 31 to speak about the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen the hope of believers and to send them forth to instill hope in others.
Sowing bitterness or perplexity, he said, "isn't Christian and if you do this, you aren't Christian. Sow hope. Spread the oil of hope, diffuse the perfume of hope and not the vinegar of bitterness and hopelessness," Catholic News Service reported the pope as saying.
Having an abundance of hope, Pope Francis said, means not only hoping that when life is over one will be with God. It also means having the strength today to continue hoping "even when there is less human reason for hoping."
"Hope truly is like a sail," the pope said. "It gathers the wind of the Spirit and transforms it into a driving force that pushes the boat out to sea or to the shore, depending on circumstances."
"It pushes us to go forward, always forward," he said. The Holy Spirit "makes us feel like pilgrims and strangers and does not allow us to sit back and become a sedentary people."
Jesus promised his disciples the Holy Spirit as a "paraclete," a provider of consolation and a defense, the pope said, and those who have been blessed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in turn called to console and defend others.
"Console and defend like the Holy Spirit does for each of us who are here in the square. Console and defend," he said. "We must be the same for the neediest, the discarded, those who need it most, those who suffer most. Console and defend."
Source: Catholic News Service
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.