Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today we begin a new cycle of catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles which 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. As such, when the Holy Spirit is present in human words, they in turn become dynamic, capable of inflaming hearts and overcoming walls of division. The gift of the Spirit, moreover, is freely given; it cannot be merited or earned. The Risen Jesus invites us to faithfully await the fulfilment of the Father’s promise: “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5). As they awaited this gift, the Apostles, together with Mary, did so together as members of the Lord’s family. Let us, then, also ask the Lord for the patience to await him attentively, praying to the Holy Spirit and fostering our shared communion within the Church.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Canada and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!