At his General Audience on Wednesday the Pope led the faithful on a new journey. Leaving behind his continuing catechesis on the Our Father, Pope Francis began a new cycle focusing on the Acts of the Apostles.
The Word and the Spirit
The Pontiff explained how this book speaks about the spread of the Good News and shows us the wonderful bond between the proclamation of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit who gives power to this witness of faith. He added that, “the protagonists of the Acts are a lively and effective "couple": the Word and the Spirit.”
The Word of God, said Pope Francis, “is dynamic, it irrigates every ground on which it falls.” He also pointed out that its strength, according to St Luke is not its rhetoric but the power of the Holy Spirit.
Gift of Salvation
The gift of the Spirit, noted the Pope, is freely given; it cannot be merited or earned. The Lord himself “gives everything for free. Salvation is not bought or paid for: it is a free gift.”
Pope Francis emphasized how the Risen Jesus invites us to faithfully await the fulfilment of the Father’s promise which is, “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit”
As they awaited this gift, said the Pope, the Apostles, together with Mary, did so as members of the Lord’s family in the upper room.
Prayer and Perseverance
They awaited this promise, stressed Pope Francis, “praying with perseverance, as if there were not many, but only one…It is through prayer, in fact, he said, that solitude, temptation and suspicion are overcome and the heart is opened to communion.”
At the end of the Audience the Pope recalled that on May 30 the Church celebrates “the Ascension of the Lord Jesus into Heaven".
Pope Francis commented, as Jesus said to the Apostles, the Lord repeats to us today, "I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you”. He concluded, “if you are friends with Jesus, He will make you feel his presence in your life, and you will never feel alone or "Abandoned.""