Like the many Christians who today are being persecuted and attacked for their faith, all Christians should face their darker moments with perseverance. Pope Francis made this affirmation in his homily for Mass on Friday, 1 February.
Indeed, the day’s reading from Hebrews (10:32-39), which recounts Christians “struggling through a dark moment, a bad moment because they are being persecuted”, is “a catechesis on perseverance: persevering in the journey of faith, persevering in service to the Lord”, he explained
We all have these moments when “we feel nothing, the illusion of service to the Lord does not support us, and doing good is difficult for us”. But even Jesus felt such times of “desolation”, Pope Francis pointed out, such as his “sadness when he cried before Lazarus’ tomb” and “when he told the Apostles on Holy Thursday: ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death’”. However, the Holy Father said, we must endure and resist these dark moments with “memory and hope”.
We should remember the happy moments like “the happy days of the encounter with the Lord, for example” or when we have done a good deed and felt Jesus’ presence nearby. Recalling “those early days when everything was luminous” is “the first prescription against desolation”, the Pope explained. The second, he continued, is “hope”. Indeed, he observed, “you only need endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised”, quoting the Letter to the Hebrews.
Thus, “when the devil attacks us with temptations, with vices, with our wretchedness” we should always “look to the Lord, the endurance of the cross, remembering the first beautiful moments of love, of the encounter with the Lord and the hope we are charged with”.
The Holy Father concluded with a prayer for the “grace of memory and of hope, so that we may have that “endurance on the journey of our life”.
St. Peter’s Square
Sept. 22, 2019
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