Dear brothers and sisters: In our catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we have seen that the Church’s evangelizing mission begins with the resurrection of Christ. As the disciples, together with Mary, waited in the Upper Room for the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit, they were united in prayer. From the beginning, the Church appears as a communion, a community, the People of God. Christ’s choice of twelve Apostles shows the continuity between the Church and the people of Israel. After the defection of Judas, the Apostles were conscious that his place in the Twelve had to be taken by another. Guided by Peter, the community as a whole joined in prayer to discern the Lord’s choice of Matthias. Jesus had told his disciples that they would be known by their love for one another (Jn 13:35). The visible communion of the Apostles was their first form of witness to the Risen Lord and his saving love. May we too bear witness to the reconciling power of that love by our unity, which triumphs over pride and divisiveness, and creates from diversity the one People of God.
I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Ireland, Finland, Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Vietnam and the United States of America. I offer a special greeting to the Divine Word Missionaries from Indonesia and the interreligious delegation from Hong Kong, led by Cardinal John Tong Hon. Upon all of you I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon all of you I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!