In his public audience on Ash Wednesday, March 1, Pope Francis encouraged the Catholic faithful to welcome the season of Lent, to “begin our journey of hope with joy.”
Lent is a season of hope, the Pontiff explained, because we look forward to the Resurrection, confident that with God’s help we can share in Christ’s victory. However, while Jesus has paid the price of our redemption, “that doesn’t mean that He did everything and we don’t have to do anything,” the Holy Father cautioned. He rejected the notion that since Jesus died on the Cross, “we will go to heaven in a carriage.”
The penitential season of Lent, the Pope said, is like the 40 years that the Hebrew people spent in the desert after their exodus from Egypt. Each day, with its particular obstacles, presents a challenge to grow closer to God.