Holy spirit

The Pope at the Audience: The Holy Spirit and the Unleashed Power of the Gospel

Pope Francis during his weekly general audience declared that the Holy Spirit is the protagonist of the Church’s mission.

By Lydia O’Kane

Although pilgrims and tourists had their umbrellas ready for Wednesday’s general audience, the brief drizzle that swept over St. Peter’s Square then turned to clear skies as Pope Francis reflected on his catechesis continues on the Acts of the Apostles.

He told the people gathered that in this book we can see how “the Holy Spirit is the protagonist of the mission of the Church: it is He who guides the path of the evangelizers, showing them the path to follow”.

St Paul’s missionary journey

The Pope noted that this can be clearly seen when the apostle Paul, having come to Troad, receives a vision begging him to come to Macedonia and help the people there.

The Apostle said Pope Francis has no hesitation; he leaves for Macedonia, sure that it is God himself who sends him, and arrives at Philippi.

Lydia’s conversion

The Pontiff explained to those present that the power of the Gospel is addressed above all to the women of Philippi, in particular to Lydia, merchant of purple, and believer in God to whom the Lord opens his heart “to adhere to the words. from Paul”.

Lydia, Pope Francis continued, “welcomes Christ by receiving baptism with his family and welcomes those who belong to Christ, by welcoming Paul and Silas into his house”. “We have here the testimony of the arrival of Christianity in Europe: the beginning of a process of inculturation which still lasts today”, he declared.

The Pope went on to describe how, after receiving hospitality from Lydia, Paul and Silas then find themselves confronted with the harshness of prison. He pointed out that they go from the consolation of this conversion of Lydia and her family, to the desolation of the prison where the key is thrown for having healed a slave in the name of Jesus.

Speaking out of the blue, the Pope said that this slave’s masters made a lot of money by making her tell people about the future.

Even today, commented Pope Francis, “there are people who pay for it” recalling that in his former diocese, in a very large park, there were more than 60 tables where fortune tellers read books. palms and people believed and paid.

Prison and baptism of jailer

Praying fervently to the Lord, said the Pope, “Paul and Silas are freed from their chains by a sudden earthquake. This prompts their jailer to ask how he too can be saved, and after hearing the word of the Lord, he receives baptism with his family.

At the conclusion of his catechesis, the Pope underlined how “in these events we see the work of the Holy Spirit and the unleashed power of the Gospel.