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Love is the engine driving hope on life's bumpy road, says pope


  • Pope Francis greets a baby during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis drinks mate, the traditional Argentine tea, during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis passes Mexico's flag as he greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis leads his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis is pictured during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 12. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The cross, loving service and humble sacrifice are the only way to overcome evil and give hope to the world, Pope Francis said.

Those who love their own lives and always hunger for more are the losers, the pope said at his weekly general audience April 12.

Rather, those who readily serve others and "live God's way" are the winners, who "save themselves and others, becoming seeds of hope for the world," he said.

This seemingly illogical process is the source and strength of Christian hope, Pope Francis said, continuing his series of talks on the unique nature of this hope.

Jesus explains the new kind of hope he offers in a verse from the Gospel according of St. John when he says, "unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life."

It is only when a seed splits apart and opens up that it can give rise to new life that grows and gives abundant fruit, the pope said.

Jesus himself followed this process by "falling to the earth" from his celestial glory as a small baby, like a tiny grain of wheat.

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