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Pope Francis: Mass for 25th anniversary of Episcopal Ordination, like Abraham, “the Lord tells us: arise, look, hope”

“Arise, look, hope”: these three imperatives that mark God’s dialogue with Abraham after the “go forth from your land” point to the “road the Patriarch should take” and to “how he should act, his inner attitude”. Pope Francis said this at the beginning of his homily for the Mass he presided over today in the Pauline Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace with the cardinals present in Rome on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination. In his speech delivered entirely off the cuff and focused on the first reading that recounts how Abraham believed in God and the Covenant that the Lord made with him, the Pontiff insisted on the threefold imperative “Arise, look, hope”. “Arise – he explained –, get up, walk, do not stand still. You have a task, a mission, and you have to fulfil it while walking. Do not remain seated, stand up! Abraham began to walk, he was always on the move, and the symbol for this is the tent”. “In the Book of Genesis – Pope Francis continued –, we read that Abraham was moving with his tent, and when he stopped, the tent was always there. Abraham never built a home for himself. He only built an altar, just an altar to worship the One who would order him to arise and journey”. The Pope then focused on the second imperative: “Look: look about you, and from where you are, gaze to the north and south, east and west. Look to the horizon, do not build walls, look and always go forth. And the mystical experience of the horizon is that the more you move forward, the further away the horizon lies. So look ahead, walk towards the horizon”. “The third imperative – Pope Francis went on to explain – is ‘hope’”. “Your heir will come from you, from your own loins, do hope! And these words were addressed to a man who could not have heirs both because of his age and the sterility of his wife”. “Your descendants – the Pope said referring to God’s promise to Abraham – will be like the dust of the earth”. “And then look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so shall your descendants be. And Abraham believed, and the Lord credited it to him as an act of righteousness”.


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