Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we now reflect on how Saint Peter and the Apostles respond with courage to those who wanted to stop the spread of the Gospel. Strengthened by the experience of Pentecost the Apostles become the “megaphone” of the Holy Spirit, proclaiming the saving word of God which cannot be silenced. In the midst of the Sanhedrin, which feels threatened by the Apostolic preaching, a different voice is heard. The highly regarded doctor of the Law, Gamaliel, demonstrates the “art of discernment”. Filled with prophetic wisdom, he invites the leaders of the people not to give in to haste, but to wait for developments over time. This kind of discernment is valuable for the Church because it invites us to be farsighted, to contemplate events and not to make hasty judgments. Discernment is an art that does not provide standardized solutions. It is an exercise of spiritual intelligence carried out by the children of God who learn to see traces of the Father’s presence within history. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us acquire the habit of discernment in order to learn that both time and the faces of our brothers and sisters are messengers of the living God.
The Pope also greeted the various English-speaking groups present at the Audience:
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Canada and the United States of America. In particular, I greet the members of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons present in Rome for their annual meeting. Upon you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. May God bless you!