Posted December 17, 2015 4:00 AM by

Hope gives you levity —God is greater than your sins…

(CUSA) – Hope looks beyond the craziness of the moment to the Christian vision of eternity. It also looks to tomorrow.

 

Hope further opens our hearts to the value of every person and motivates us to act not only to satisfy our momentary desire but the good of the other. —Ed.

 

 

HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
Monday, December 13, 2015

 

 

Brothers and Sisters,

 

It is hope in God’s mercy that opens up horizons and gives us freedom.

 

Balaam had his faults, and he had sins as well, because we all have sins. We are all sinners.

 

But God is greater than our sins.

 

At a certain point Balaam meets the angel of the Lord and has a change of heart. He sees what error is and what truth is and he says what he sees: the People of God dwell in tents in the desert and beyond the desert are fruitfulness, beauty and victory.

 

Balaam opens his heart, he repents and sees the truth, because with good will one always sees the truth—truth that gives hope.

 

Hope is a Christian virtue that is a great gift from God and that allows us see beyond problems, pain, difficulties, beyond our sins. It allows us to see the beauty of God.

 

Those who possess this virtue of hope also have the freedom and the strength to see beyond the bad times whether they are to do with bad health or family problems.

 

In the Gospel the chief priests question Jesus and ask with which authority does he act. They have no horizons, they are men who are locked in their calculations, they are slaves to their rigidity and human calculations which close hearts and shut out freedom, whilst hope gives us levity.

 

In this Year of Mercy there are these two paths: one of those who hope in God’s mercy and know that God is the Father; and then there are those who take refuge in the slavery of rigidity and know nothing of God’s mercy.

 

***

 

In Buenos Aires in 1992 during a Mass for the sick, I had been confessing for many hours when I received a very old woman “with eyes that were full of hope”:

 

“I said: ‘Grandma, are you coming to confession?’ Because I was about to leave. ‘Yes’ she answered and I said: ‘you have not sinned’. She said: ‘Father: we have all sinned – But God forgives all’. ‘How do you know?’ I asked, and she said: ‘Because if God did not forgive all, the world would not exist’.”

 

So before these two persons – the free one, the one with hope who brings God’s mercy, and the closed, legalistic slave of his own rigidity, let us remember the words of the old lady and the lesson she gave me: God forgives all, He is just waiting for you to get close to Him.”

 

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