Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we see how with the passage of time Paul’s missionary apostolate is increasingly marked by suffering. His return to Jerusalem exposes him to a fierce persecution. Accused of preaching against the Law and the Temple, he is arrested and put in chains. After being interrogated by the Sanhedrin, Paul is taken to Caesarea where the Governor Felix and King Agrippa hear his case. Finally, having appealed to the Emperor, he begins his journey to Rome. In all this, Saint Luke brings out the similarity between Paul and Jesus, and presents Paul’s sufferings as themselves an eloquent proclamation of the crucified and risen Lord. Indeed, his love for Christ made his chains of captivity an instrument for spreading the liberating power of the Gospel. May Paul’s example of perseverance amid trials, and his ability to view everything with the eyes of faith, strengthen us in fidelity, and confirm us in our vocation to be missionary disciples and witnesses to the joy of the Gospel.
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 the groups from the United States of America. I pray that each of you, and your families, may experience a blessed Advent, in preparation for the coming of the newborn Saviour at Christmas. May God bless you!