At the general audience he greets his driver who is retiring and thanked all the lay people who work in the Vatican. While there is the hypothesis of a trip to Slovakia, he greets the Slovak pilgrims present
VATICAN CITY. St. Paul “does not stop at the surface of problems, conflicts, as we are often tempted to do in order to immediately find a solution that deludes everyone in agreement with a compromise”. Pope Francis emphasized this while continuing a cycle of catechesis dedicated to the relevance of the letter to the Galatians.
At the end of the hearing, Francis paid homage to his driver who is retiring, taking the opportunity to thank all the lay people who work in the Vatican. “Here in the Vatican there is so much variety of people, priests, cardinals, working nuns, many lay people, many … and today I would like to stop and thank a lay person who is retiring today, Renzo Cestiè: he has begun to working at 14, he came on a bicycle, today he is the Pope’s driver: a round of applause to Renzo and his fidelity. She is one of those people who carries the Church forward with her work, her kindness and her prayers: I thank her very much and I also take this opportunity to thank all the lay people who work with us in the Vatican ».
In the course of the catechesis, the Pope dwelt on the way in which Saint Paul faces the conflicts that emerge in the community of the Galatians. «From the beginning of his Letter – Francesco notes – he does not follow the low arguments used by his detractors. The Apostle “flies high” and also shows us how to behave when conflicts arise within the community. Only towards the end of the Letter, in fact, is it made explicit that the core of the controversy raised is that of circumcision, therefore of the main Jewish tradition. Paul chooses the path to go deeper, because what is at stake is the truth of the Gospel and the freedom of Christians, which is an integral part of it. It does not stop at the surface of problems, conflicts, as we are often tempted to do – the Pope remarked – to immediately find a solution that deludes everyone in agreement with a compromise. Paul loves Jesus and knows that Jesus is not a man of compromise. This is not how it works with the Gospel and the Apostle has chosen to follow the more demanding path. He writes thus: “Is it perhaps the consent of men that I seek, or that of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I still tried to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ! ”».
Saint Paul «on the one hand, he insists on emphasizing that he had ferociously persecuted the Church and that he had been a” blasphemer, a persecutor, a violent man “; he spares no adjectives, he himself qualifies as such. On the other hand, it highlights God’s mercy towards him, which leads him to undergo a radical transformation, well known by all. He writes: “I was not personally known by the churches of Judea which are in Christ; they had only heard it said: “He who once persecuted us is now announcing the faith he once wanted to destroy.” He converted, he changed, his heart changed. Paul thus highlights the truth of his vocation through the striking contrast that had arisen in his life: as a persecutor of Christians because they did not observe the traditions and the law, he was called to become an apostle to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus. Christ. We see that Paul is free to proclaim the Gospel and forgive sins: a freedom that gives the freedom of God. Looking back on this story of his, Paul is full of wonder and gratitude. It is as if he wanted to tell the Galatians that he could have been anything but an apostle. He had been raised from a young age to be a blameless observant of the Mosaic Law, and circumstances had led him to fight against Christ’s disciples. However, something unexpected had happened: God, with his grace, had revealed his dead and risen Son to him, so that he could become herald among the pagans ”.
Thus, the Pope continued, broadening his gaze: «How inscrutable the paths of the Lord are! We touch it with our hands every day, but above all if we think back to the moments in which the Lord called us. We must never forget the time and the way in which God entered our life: to keep fixed in the heart and in the mind that encounter with grace, when God has changed our existence. How many times, in front of the great works of the Lord, the question arises spontaneously: how is it possible that God uses a sinner, a fragile and weak person, to carry out his will? Yet, there is nothing accidental, because everything was prepared in God’s plan ». And therefore, is Bergoglio’s conclusion, “let us allow ourselves to be led by this awareness: the primacy of grace transforms existence and makes it worthy of being placed at the service of the Gospel. The primacy of grace covers all sins, changes hearts, changes life, makes us see new paths ”.
At the end of the audience, when Francis greets the various groups of pilgrims present in Rome, today Francis also greeted the Slovak faithful present in the Courtyard of San Damaso, participants in the Thanksgiving Pilgrimage of the Eparchy of Kosice, which celebrates the 350th anniversary of the crying miraculous of the icon of Our Lady of Klokocov, led by their ordinary archbishop Monsignor Cyril Vasiľ. «Brothers and sisters», said Francis, who could go to the Slovak Republic and Hungary in September, «may this celebration of the Mother of God renew in your people the faith and the living meaning of her intercession on your journey. I cordially bless all of you and your loved ones in the homeland. Sláva Isusu Christu! ».