By Vatican News staff writer
During his Angelus from St Peter’s Square, the Pope pointed out that this first Sunday of Advent also marks the beginning of a new liturgical year.
He noted that in it, “the Church marks the passage of time with the celebration of the main events in the life of Jesus and in the history of salvation.” In so doing, as Mother, “she illuminates the path of our existence, supports us in our daily occupations and guides us towards the final encounter with Christ.”
Expectation of hope
Turning his thoughts to Sunday’s liturgy, Pope Francis commented that it “invites us to live the first ‘important season’ of the liturgical year, Advent, which prepares us for Christmas, as a time of expectation and hope.”
The Pope said that Saint Paul indicates the object of expectation in the "manifestation of the Lord."
“The Apostle invites the Christians of Corinth, and us too, to focus our attention on the encounter with Jesus, who will come at the end of the world and who comes every day, so that, with His grace, we might accomplish good in our own lives and in the lives of others,” said Pope Francis.
Calling on the Lord in times of trial
"Our God is the God who comes:" He never disappoints us, stressed the Pope. “He came at a precise moment in history and became man to take our sins upon Himself.” “The Lord knocks at the doors of our hearts,” he said.
Pope Francis emphasized that at a time when people are worried by the COVID-19 pandemic, “we run the risk of falling into pessimism, closure and apathy.” The antidote to this, he said, was to await the Lord because he “is our help and our shield.”
“Confidently waiting for the Lord allows us to find comfort and courage in the dark moments of our lives,” he said.
God with us
“Advent is a continuous call to hope,” the Pope underlined. “It reminds us that God is present in history to lead it to its ultimate goal and to its fullness, which is the Lord Jesus Christ. God is present in the history of humanity, He is the ‘God-with-us’, He walks beside us to support us.”
Pope Francis concluded by saying, “The Lord never abandons us; He accompanies us through the events of our lives to help us discover the meaning of the journey, the meaning of everyday life, to give us courage when we are under duress or when we suffer. In the midst of life’s storms, God always extends His hand to us and frees us from threats.