In Hope we are saved!
On 30 November 2007 Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict’s second encyclical, was released. It begins 'SPE SALVI facti sumus—in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us (Rom 8:24).'
At the start of his homily in the Vatican Basilica on December 1, the Holy Father recalled how Advent is the time of hope par excellence" and how Christians, 'as they prepare to celebrate the great feast of the birth of Christ the Savior, revitalize their expectation of His glorious return at the end of time.'
'It was to the subject of hope,' he said, 'that I dedicated my second Encyclical, which was published yesterday. And today I am happy to present it ideally to the entire Church on this first Sunday of Advent so that, while preparing for Christmas, the community and the individual faithful may read and meditate upon it, and so rediscover the beauty and profundity of Christian hope.'
After underlining how 'true and certain hope is founded on faith in God-Love, the merciful Father,' Benedict XVI made it clear that Advent is a 'propitious time for the rediscovery of hope, a hope that is not vague and illusory but sure and trustworthy because 'anchored' in Christ, God-made-man and rock of our salvation.'
In his Letter to them, St Paul reminds the Ephesians 'that before embracing faith in Christ they had no hope and were 'without God in the world,' said the Pope.
'This expression seems more valid than ever,' he added, "because of the paganism of our own day. In particular we may refer it to contemporary nihilism which corrodes hope in man's heart, causing him to think that emptiness reigns within him and around him: emptiness before birth, emptiness after death. The truth is that without God, hope fades.'