Source: Vatican News
Pope Francis concluded his General Audience Catechetical Series on the Letter to the Galatians by highlighting how the Apostle Paul teaches that “the fulfillment of the true Law is found in this life of the Spirit given to us by Jesus.” . And the life of the Spirit “can only be lived in freedom”.
Addressing pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI Hall for Wednesday’s general audience, Pope Francis noted that St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians shows his role as a great evangelizer, theologian and pastor. He highlighted how he helps us to discover “the shocking novelty contained in the revelation of Jesus Christ”, to contemplate the mystery of Christ and to share it with “creative intelligence” with those to whom he preached.
At the same time, he skilfully guided and encouraged a lost and confused community of the time with great pastoral sensitivity, the Pope observed, showing how the power of the Spirit had “really entered his heart” and how his encounter with the risen Christ transformed his whole life.
Pope Francis underlined the passion shown by Saint Paul in defending the freedom brought by Christ – a passion that “still moves us today”. Paul responded to the call he received to preach the Gospel with great conviction, the Pope said.
Saint Paul reminded the Galatians that they too were called to freedom which frees them from all forms of slavery by making them heirs of the ancient promise and children of God through Christ. Summarizing Paul’s teaching, the Pope said: “The fulfillment of the true Law is found in this life of the Spirit given to us by Jesus. And this life of the Spirit can only be lived in freedom: Christian freedom.
The pope said St. Paul’s teaching inspires enthusiasm, encourages people to follow the path of freedom and “walk in the Spirit”, which always sets us free.
At the same time, he noted, we become more aware of our weaknesses when we see how difficult it is to be “obedient to the Spirit, to surrender to its beneficial action.” But we cannot let discouragement set in, the Pope said, recalling the Gospel episode of the disciples in the boat at the time of the storm, when the Apostles awakened Christ to save them. In these very difficult moments of life, we need to “awaken the Christ who is in us”, adding: “We must awaken Christ in our hearts and only then can we contemplate things with His eyes because He sees beyond the storm”.
In conclusion, the Pope said that we must never tire of doing good and that we can always trust that the Spirit will come to help us in our weakness and give us the support we need. We must “learn to call on the Holy Spirit more often,” he said, and one of the best ways to do this is to often recite “the beautiful prayer” that the Church recites at Pentecost: “Come, Holy Spirit”.
With the presence of the Spirit, the Pope said, “we will protect our freedom”, because “Christian freedom is what makes us grow” and brings forth true joy.
At the end of the audience, Pope Francis greeted the English and American pilgrims.
Watch the general audience on Youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Kov29rl8jI
Text of the catechesis of Pope Francis – www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/audiences/2021/documents/papa-francesco_20211110_udienza-generale.html
Come Holy Spirit – www.vaticannews.va/en/prayers/come–holy-spirit.html
Key words: Holy Spirit, General Audience, Pope Francis, St Paul
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