Pope Francis says "This means listening to God without reservations, without postponements, without calculations; adhere to him..." Full Text + Video
Wednesday, 28 August 2019
Catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles: 7. "When Peter passed ..." (Acts 5:15). Peter, principal witness of the Risen One
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The ecclesial community described in the book of the Acts of the Apostles lives on so much wealth that the Lord puts at his disposal - the Lord is generous! -, experiences numerical growth and great excitement, despite external attacks. To show us this vitality, Luke, in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, also indicates significant places, for example the portico of Solomon (see Acts 5:12), a meeting place for believers. The portico (stoà) is an open gallery that serves as a shelter, but also a meeting place and a testimony. Luke, in fact, insists on the signs and wonders that accompany the word of the Apostles and on the special care of the sick to whom they dedicate themselves.
In chapter 5 of the Acts the nascent Church shows itself as a "field hospital" that welcomes the weakest people, that is the sick. Their suffering attracts the Apostles, who do not possess "neither silver nor gold" (Acts 3: 6) - so Peter says to the cripple - but they are strong in the name of Jesus. In their eyes, as in the eyes of Christians of all times , the sick are privileged recipients of the happy proclamation of the Kingdom, they are brothers in whom Christ is present in a particular way, to let himself be sought and found by all of us (see Mt 25: 36.40). The sick are privileged for the Church, for the priestly heart, for all the faithful. They are not to be discarded, on the contrary They are to be treated, to be looked after: They are the object of Christian concern.
Among the apostles, Peter emerges, who has pre-eminence in the apostolic group because of the primacy (see Mt 16:18) and the mission received from the Risen One (see Jn 21: 15-17). It is he who starts the preaching of the kerygma on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2: 14-41) and who will carry out a directive function at the Council of Jerusalem (see Acts 15 and Gal 2: 10-10).
Peter approaches the stretchers and passes among the sick, as Jesus had done, taking upon himself infirmities and diseases (see Mt 8:17; Is 53.4). And Peter, the fisherman of Galilee, passes, but lets it be an Other to manifest itself: let the Christ be alive and working! The witness, in fact, is the one who manifests Christ, both with words and with the bodily presence, which allows him to relate to and be a prolongation of the Word made flesh in history.
Peter is the one who accomplishes the works of the Master (see Jn 14:12): looking at him with faith, we see Christ himself. Filled with the Spirit of his Lord, Peter passes by and, without doing anything, his shadow becomes a "caress", a healing, a communication of health, an outpouring of the tenderness of the Risen One who bends over the sick and restores life, salvation, dignity. In this way, God manifests his closeness and makes the plagues of his children "the theological place of his tenderness" (Morning Meditation, St. Martha, 14.12.2017). In the wounds of the sick, in the diseases that are impediments to go on in life, there is always the presence of Jesus, the wound of Jesus. There is Jesus who calls each of us to look after them, to support them, to heal them.
Peter's healing action raises the hatred and envy of the Sadducees, who imprison the apostles and, upset about their mysterious liberation, forbid them to teach. These people saw the miracles that the apostles did not by magic, but in the name of Jesus; but they didn't want to accept it and put them in prison, beat them. They were then miraculously released, but the hearts of the Sadducees were so hard that they did not want to believe what they saw. Peter then responds by offering a key to the Christian life: "To obey God instead of men" (Acts 5:29), because they - the Sadducees - say: "You must not go on with these things, you must not heal" - " I obey God before men ": it is the great Christian response. This means listening to God without reservations, without postponements, without calculations; adhere to him to become capable of covenant with him and with whom we meet on our path.
We also ask the Holy Spirit for the strength not to frighten us in front of those who command us to keep quiet, slander us and even pay attention to our lives. Let us ask him to strengthen us inwardly to be certain of the loving and consoling presence of the Lord by our side.
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je suis heureux de saluer les pèlerins venus de France, en particulier de Rennes, de Poissy, de Retiers et de L’Isle en Dodon, ainsi que d’autres pays francophones. Demandons à l’Esprit Saint, par l’intercession de Pierre, de nous rendre forts intérieurement pour être assurés de la présence aimante et consolatrice du Seigneur à nos côtés. Et que l’Esprit Saint nous aide à la manifester à tous, et d’une manière particulière aux malades. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England and the United States of America. Upon you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. May God bless you!
Herzlich grüße ich die Pilger aus den Ländern deutscher Sprache. Vom Geist des Herrn durchdrungen, konnten die Apostel das Heilswerk Christi auf Erden weiterführen. Stellen wir uns dem Herrn ganz zur Verfügung, denn er möchte auch durch uns in der Welt wirken und den Menschen unserer Zeit seine Nähe zeigen.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Pidamos de forma constante la fuerza del Espíritu Santo para llevar a todos la presencia amorosa y consoladora del Señor que camina a nuestro lado.
Que el Señor los bendiga.
Saúdo cordialmente os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em especial os jovens cadetes com seus instrutores e toda a tripulação do navio-escola «Brasil»: no vigor de sua juventude, na distinção de sua presença e na esperança que brilha em seus olhos, vislumbro a promessa, confirmada por esta peregrinação de fé, de que vocês serão leais servidores do grande e querido Brasil e colaboradores de Deus na construção de um mundo mais fraterno, com base na justiça, no amor e na paz. Sobre vocês, bem como sobre os fiéis de Toledo-Paraná e Ribamar-Lourinhã e sobre as respetivas famílias, desçam as bênçãos do Céu. Rezai por mim!
في تعاليمه حول "المسيرة" الإنجيلية التي يرويها سفر أعمال الرسل، تكلم البابا اليوم عن الكنيسة الأولى والتي تظهر كـ "مستشفى ميداني" يستقبل الأشخاص الأكثر ضعفا، ومرضا؛ حيث معاناة المرضى كانت تجذب الرسل، والذين بالرغم من أنهم لا يملكون "لا فضة ولا ذهب"، كانوا أقوياء باسم يسوع. وأوضح البابا كيف أن بطرس كان يقترب من المرضى ويمر بينهم، تماما كما كان يفعل يسوع، فكان ظله يشفي أمراضهم. لم يكن صياد الجليل يبحث عن إظهار نفسه، بل المسيح الحي والعامل فيه. لقد كان بطرس، ممتلئا من روح معلمه، لدرجة أن ظله كان يتحول إلى "عناق" مشفي، وإلى وسيلة لنشر حنان القائم من بين الأموات، الذي ينحني على المرضى والمحتاجين ويهبهم مجددا الحياة، والخلاص، والكرامة. وأكد البابا أن "بطرس هو صورة الكنيسة"، التي على الأرض تعد أبناءها وتأهلهم للسماء.[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, in particular those from Syria, the Holy Land and the Middle East. Peter's healing action arouses the hatred of the Sadducees, who imprison the apostles and prohibit them from teaching, but Peter's answer: "to obey God instead of men" (Acts 5:29), offers us the key to Christian life: that is, having to listen and obey God without reservations, without postponements, without calculations. May the Lord bless you and always protect you from the evil one!]
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy embers the siostry, pierwszego września przypada 80.rocznica wybuchu drugiej wojny światowej, która rozpoczęła się nazistowską, niemiecką agresją na Polskę. Podczas, gdy w stołecznej Warszawie, w Wieluniu iw innych mistach Bede się odbywały wspomnieniowe obchody, z udziałem licznych Glow państw z całego świata, Wszyscy będziemy modlić się or pokój, aby nigdy nie powtórzyły się tragiczne wydarzenia, sprowokowane przez nienawiść, które przyniosły jedynie zniszczenie , cierpienie i śmierć. Prośmy Boga, aby pokój panował w ludzkich sercach, w rodzinach, społeczeństwach i między narodami. Zawierzam was wszystkich matczynej opiece Maryi Królowej Pokoju i z serca wam błogosławię.
[I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, on September 1, the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II begins with the German Nazi aggression on Poland. While commemorative celebrations will take place in Warsaw, Wielun and other cities, with the participation of numerous heads of states from all over the world, we will all pray for peace, so that the tragic events caused by hatred, which led to only destruction, suffering and death. Let us pray to God, so that peace may reign in the hearts of men, in families, in societies and among peoples! I entrust all of you to the maternal protection of Mary Queen of Peace and I bless you from my heart.]
Srdačno pozdravljam i blagoslivljam hrvatske hodočasnike, osobito učenike i nastavnike biskupijskih gimnazija iz Požeške biskupije, zajedno s njihovim biskupom Mons. Antunom Škvorčevićem, kao i sjemeništarce, učenike i nastavnike Nadbiskupijske klasične gimnazije iz Splita. Dragon prijatelji, neka vam svjedočanstvo svetoga Augustina pomogne širiti svjetlo vjere u vašoj sredini, kako biste oduševljeno svjedočili kršćansku nadu i ljubili bližnje. Hvaljen Isus i Marija!
[I warmly greet and bless the Croatian pilgrims, particularly the students and teachers of the High Schools of the Diocese of Požega, accompanied by the Bishop, Archbishop Antun Škvorčević, as well as the seminarians, students and teachers of the Archdiocesan Classical Lyceum of Split. Dear friends, the testimony of Saint Augustine helps you to spread the light of faith in your environments, so that with enthusiasm you may witness Christian hope and love others. Praised be Jesus and Mary!]
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I greet the participants in the pilgrimage of Ukraine. [greeting in Ukrainian - the faithful respond]
I am pleased to welcome the Sisters of Saint Anne; the Handmaids of the Immaculate Virgin and the participants in the summer meeting for seminarians, promoted by Opus Dei.
I greet the boys of the Confirmation of the Diocese of Verona; those of the Diocese of Chiavari, with the Bishop Mons. Alberto Tanasino; and those of the Diocese of Lucca, with Bishop Mons. Paolo Giulietti.
I greet the faithful of the parishes of Ficulle and Dragonara of Potenza; and the Oncology Hemopathic Child Association.
I am particularly interested in young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.
Today we celebrate the memory of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. I invite everyone to be inspired by his holiness and his doctrine. Together with him, rediscover the way of interiority that leads to God and to the neediest neighbor.