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Pope speaks on the prayer in Acts of the Apostles during general audience

Dear Brothers and Sisters

In our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer, we now turn from the prayer of Mary and the Apostles awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to the “little Pentecost” described in the fourth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. After the arrest and release of Peter and John, the community joined in prayer and “the place where they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness” (v. 31).

This prayer shows the unity of the early community, which asks only to proclaim the word of God fearlessly in the face of persecution. It seeks to discern present events in the light of God’s saving plan and the fulfilment of prophecy in the mystery of Christ.

It also begs God to accompany by his power the preaching of the Gospel. May this prayer of the early Church inspire our own prayer. May we seek to discern God’s loving plan in the light of Christ and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who bestows the hope which does not disappoint (cf. Rom 5:5).

I offer a warm welcome to the General Chapter of the Brothers of Saint Gabriel. I also greet the group from the Faculty of Canon Law of Saint Paul’s University in Ottowa, Canada. I thank the choirs for their praise of God in song. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, including those from England, Ireland, Finland, South Africa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Trinidad, Canada and the United States, I invoke the joy and peace of the Risen Lord.