“How long will God’s care for man last? How long will the Lord Jesus who walks with us take care of us?”. Pope Francis asked these questions during his catechesis delivered in front of 18,000 faithful today. “The answer of the Gospel leaves no room for doubt: until the end of the age!”, Pope Francis remarked. “Heaven and earth will pass away, human hopes will fail us, but the Word of God is greater than anything else and will not pass away. He will be the God-with-us, Jesus who walks with us”. “There will never be a day in our lives when God’s heart will cease to care for us”, the Pope assured. “He cares for us, He walks with us. Why does He do that? Only because He loves us”. “And God will certainly provide for all our needs, He will not abandon us in times of trial and darkness”, Pope Francis continued. “This certainty claims a place in our souls to never be extinguished. Some call it Providence, that is, God’s closeness, God’s love, the fact that Jesus is walking with us”. “It is not by chance that among the Christian symbols for hope is one that I very much like: the anchor”, the Pope said, which “signifies that our hope is not vague; this is not to be confused with the fleeting feeling of those who want to change the world for the better in an unrealistic way, only relying on their own willpower”. Indeed, “Christian hope is not rooted in the attraction of the future, but in the certainty of what God has promised us and fulfilled in Jesus Christ”.
“If He has promised us to never abandon us, if every vocation begins with the words ‘Follow me’, by which He assures us that He will always go before us, then why should we fear?”, the Pope asked. “With this promise, Christians can walk everywhere. We can even cross portions of scarred land, where things are not going well, and even there, we are among those who continue to hope. The Psalm says: ‘Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side’. It is precisely where darkness reigns that we must keep a light on”, the Pope said. “Let us go back to the anchor”, Pope Francis continued off the cuff: “Sailors throw the anchor on the beach, and then they grab the rope and pull the boat, the ship, closer to shore”. “Our faith is like an anchor in heaven”, the Pope explained off the cuff: “our life is anchored in heaven. What shall we do? Hold on to the rope. And move forward, with confidence, because our life is like an anchor in heaven”.