Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Pope Francis explains ".. evangelization means letting yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit, let him be the one to push you..to the announcement with witness, even with martyrdom.." Full Text


Pope Francis at GENERAL AUDIENCE

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles - 10. "He announced to him Jesus" (Acts 8:35). Filippo and the "race" of the Gospel on new roads.

Dear brothers and sisters!

After the martyrdom of Stephen, the "race" of the Word of God seems to suffer a setback, for the outbreak of "a violent persecution against the Church of Jerusalem" (Acts 8: 1). Following this, the Apostles remain in Jerusalem, while many Christians scatter to other places in Judea and Samaria.

In the Book of Acts, the persecution appears as the permanent state of the disciples' life, in accordance with what Jesus said: "If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you" (Jn 15:20). But the persecution, instead of extinguishing the fire of evangelization feeds it even more.

We heard what the deacon Philip did that began to evangelize the cities of Samaria, and there are numerous signs of liberation and healing that accompany the proclamation of the Word. At this point the Holy Spirit marks a new stage in the journey of the Gospel: it pushes Philip to go towards a stranger with a heart open to God. Philip stands up and starts off with enthusiasm and, on a deserted and dangerous road, meets a high official of the queen of Ethiopia, administrator of her treasures. This man, a eunuch, after having been in Jerusalem for worship, is returning to his country. He was a Jewish proselytist from Ethiopia. Sitting in a carriage, he reads the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, in particular the fourth chant of the "servant of the Lord".
Philip approaches the carriage and asks him: "Do you understand what you are reading?" (Acts 8.30). The Ethiopian replies: "And how could I understand, if no one guides me?" (Acts 8:31). That powerful man recognizes that he needs to be guided to understand the Word of God. He was the great banker, he was the minister of the economy, he had all the power of money, but he knew that without explanation he could not understand, he was humble.

And this dialogue between Philip and the Ethiopian also makes us reflect on the fact that it is not enough to read Scripture, we need to understand its meaning, find the "juice" going beyond the "bark", drawing the Spirit that animates the letter. As Pope Benedict said at the beginning of the Synod on the Word of God, "exegesis, the true reading of Sacred Scripture, is not just a literary phenomenon, [...]. It is the movement of my existence "(Meditation, 6 October 2008). Entering the Word of God is being willing to go out of one's own limits to meet and conform to Christ who is the living Word of the Father.
So who is the protagonist of this who read the Ethiopian? Filippo offers his interlocutor the key to reading: that mild suffering servant, who does not react to evil with evil and who, even if considered bankrupt and sterile and finally taken away, frees the people from iniquity and bears fruit for God, it is precisely that Christ whom Philip and the Church all announce! Who redeemed us all at Easter. Finally the Ethiopian recognizes Christ and asks for baptism and professes faith in the Lord Jesus. It is beautiful this story but who pushed Philip to go to the desert to meet this man? Who pushed Philip to approach the carriage? It is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the protagonist of evangelization. "Father, I'm going to evangelize" - "Yes, what do you do?" - "Ah, I announce the Gospel and I say who Jesus is, I try to convince people that Jesus is God". Dear, this is not evangelization, if there is no Holy Spirit there is no evangelization. This can be proselytism, publicity ... But evangelization means letting yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit, let him be the one to push you to the announcement, to the announcement with witness, even with martyrdom, even with the word.

After having brought the Ethiopian together with the Risen One - the Ethiopian meets the risen Jesus because he understands that prophecy - Philip disappears, the Spirit takes him and sends him to do another thing. I said that the protagonist of evangelization is the Holy Spirit and what is the sign that you Christian, Christian, are an evangelizer? Joy. Even in martyrdom. And Philip full of joy went to another part to preach the Gospel.

May the Spirit make baptized men and women who announce the Gospel to attract others not to themselves but to Christ, who know how to make room for God's action, who know how to make others free and responsible before the Lord.


Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les personnes de langue française, en particulier les pèlerins de la paroisse de Villeneuve, le Collège Maitrise de Massabielle de Pointe-à-Pitre, le Collège Saint-Joseph de Oyonnax et le groupe de pèlerins du Diocèse de Québec. La rencontre de Philippe avec l’Ethiopien nous révèle l’importance de la compréhension de la Parole de Dieu et des sacrements pour une vie nouvelle en Dieu. Et la joie est la caractéristique de tout chrétien disciple du Christ mort et ressuscité. Que l’Esprit Saint fasse de nous des hommes et des femmes amoureux du Christ et joyeux dans l’annonce de son message d’espérance. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
[Saluto calorosamente i fedeli francofoni, in particolare i pellegrini della Parrocchia di Villeneuve; il Collegio Maîtrise di Massabielle di Pointe-à-Pitre; il Collegio Saint-Joseph di Oyonnax; e il gruppo di pellegrini della Diocesi di Quebec. L'incontro di Filippo con l'Etiope rivela l'importanza di comprendere la Parola di Dio e i Sacramenti per una nuova vita in Dio. E la gioia è la caratteristica di tutti i cristiani, discepoli di Cristo, morto e risorto. Possa lo Spirito Santo rendervi uomini e donne amanti di Cristo, e gioiosi nell'annuncio del Suo messaggio di speranza. Dio vi benedica!]
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Botswana, Australia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Canada, and the United States of America. In a particular way my greeting goes to the seminarians of the Pontifical North American College and their families gathered for the ordination to the Diaconate to be celebrated tomorrow. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!
[Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’odierna Udienza, specialmente i gruppi provenienti da Inghilterra, Scozia, Irlanda, Danimarca, Paesi Bassi, Norvegia, Svezia, Botswana, Australia, Cina, Indonesia, Filippine, Canada e Stati Uniti d’America. In particolare saluto i seminaristi del Pontificio Collegio Americano del Nord e i loro familiari, riuniti per l’ordinazione diaconale che si terrà domani. Su di voi e sulle vostre famiglie invoco la gioia e la pace del Signore Gesù Cristo. Dio vi benedica!]
Einen lieben Gruß richte ich an die Pilger und Besucher deutscher Sprache, insbesondere die Schüler des Cusanus-Gymnasiums in Koblenz und die Schützen aus Werl. Der Hauch des Heiligen Geistes mache uns fähig, dem Handeln Gottes in uns Raum zu verschaffen, indem wir den geringsten und schwächsten Brüdern und Schwestern beístehen. Der Herr segne euch und eure Familien!
[Rivolgo un caro saluto ai pellegrini di lingua tedesca, in particolare agli alunni del Cusanus-Gymnasium di Koblenz e agli Schützen di Werl. Il soffio dello Spirito Santo ci renda capaci di fare spazio all’azione di Dio in noi, aiutando i fratelli e le sorelle più piccoli e bisognosi. Il Signore benedica voi e le vostre famiglie!]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. Hoy, memoria litúrgica de los ángeles custodios, pidamos al Señor que nos conceda, por su intercesión, el don de su Espíritu Santo, para que haga de todos nosotros los bautizados anunciadores valientes del Evangelio, dando cabida en nuestra vida a la acción de Dios, que nos hace criaturas nuevas y criaturas libres. Que el Señor los bendiga.
Queridos peregrinos do Brasil e todos os outros de língua portuguesa, sede bem-vindos! Que esta peregrinação a Roma vos encha de luz e fortaleza para anunciardes Jesus Cristo, único Salvador e Senhor da vida: fora d'Ele, não há vida, nem esperança alguma de a encontrar. Com Cristo, pelo contrário, sucesso eterno à vida que Deus vos confiou. Assim Deus vos abençoe a vós e às vossas famílias! Rezai pelas missões.
[Cari pellegrini del Brasile e tutti gli altri di lingua portoghese, benvenuti! Possa questo pellegrinaggio a Roma riempirvi di luce e fortezza per annunciare Gesù Cristo, unico Salvatore e Signore della vita: fuori di Lui, non c'è vita, né speranza alcuna di trovarla. Con Cristo, invece, eterno successo alla vita che Dio vi ha affidata. Così Dio benedica voi e le vostre famiglie! Pregate per le missioni.]
أرحب بالحاضرين الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة بالقادمين من العراق، ومن الأردن، ومن الشرق الأوسط. من المستحيل، بدون مساعدة الرب لنا، أن نفهم الكتاب المقدس بعمق، والعكس صحيح أيضا: فبدون الكتاب المقدس، تظل أحداث رسالة يسوع وكنيسته في العالم غير مفهومة. وقد كتب القديس إيرونيموس بحق: "أن نجهل الكتاب المقدس هو أن نجهل المسيح ذاته". ليبارككم الرب جميعا ويحرسكم دائما من الشرير!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, in particular those from Iraq, Jordan and the Middle East. Without the Lord it is impossible to understand in depth the Holy Scriptures, but the opposite is also true: without the Sacred Scriptures the events of the mission of Jesus and his Church in the world remain undecipherable. Saint Jerome could rightly write: "The ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ". May the Lord bless you and always protect you from the evil one!]
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, wczoraj rozpoczął się Nadzwyczajny Miesiąc Misyjny. „Obchody tego miesiąca pomogą nam przede wszystkim w ponownym odkryciu misyjnego znaczenia naszego przylgnięcia wiary do Jezusa Chrystusa, wiary darmo otrzymanej jako dar w sakramencie Chrztu św.” Wszyscy bowiem, jako „Ochrzczeni i posłani”, jesteśmy wezwani, byśmy sami byli świadkami Chrystusa i byśmy wspierali misjonarzy, którzy niosą Ewangelię wszystkim ludom na świecie. Niech im zawsze towarzyszy nasza modlitwa i konkretne dzieła solidarności. Z serca wam błogosławię.
[I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, yesterday the Extraordinary Missionary Month began. "Celebrating this month will help us in the first place to rediscover the missionary meaning of our adhesion of faith to Jesus Christ, faith freely received as a gift in Baptism". In fact, all of us, as "Baptized and sent", are called to be witnesses of Christ and supporters of the missionaries who bring the Gospel to all the peoples of the world. Our prayer and the concrete gestures of solidarity always accompany them. I bless you from my heart.]
* * *

I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I am pleased to welcome the participants in the meeting promoted by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on Mahatma Gandhi; and the Priests of the Pontifical International Missionary College Saint Paul the Apostle, in Rome.

I greet the parishes of Copertino and Livizzano; and the group of young Chinese Catholics, from Prato.

I am particularly interested in young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.

Today we celebrate the memory of the Holy Guardian Angels. Their presence strengthens in you the certainty that God accompanies each person's life journey. Support you in announcing and living the Gospel of Christ for a world renewed in God's love.


Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation from Italian

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