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Rome Reports

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Pope in General Audience: Church is called to look for those in need and lift them up


In his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles. This week he focused on the first account of healing in the Acts.

The pope said the lame man Peter and John encounter represents “the excluded and discarded members of society.” He added instead of offering silver and gold to the beggar they give him the “greatest gift of all: the salvation to be found in Jesus Christ.”

Pope Francis noted how the two Apostles create a relationship with the beggar. He said this is how “God desires to reveal himself: through a loving encounter between people.”

The pope concluded by stressing how the lame man is an image of the resurrection and the importance to look for those in need and lift them up. Pope Francis invited everyone to recognize their own need for “that greatest treasure, which is our relationship with the Risen Lord.”

SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 In our continuing catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we now see how the Apostles preached the Gospel of salvation not only in words but in concrete actions. 

The first account of healing in Acts bears witness to this. Peter and John encounter a man born lame at the entrance to the Temple. This poor beggar, who represents the excluded and discarded members of society, is looking for alms. The two Apostles fix their gaze on him, inviting him to a different way of seeing things. They offer him not silver or gold, but the greatest gift of all: the salvation to be found in Jesus Christ. 

They create a relationship with him, for this is how God desires to reveal himself: through a loving encounter between people. 

Saint John Chrysostom saw in this act of raising up a lame person an image of the resurrection. It is also an image of the Church, called to look for those in need and to lift them up. 

As we also strive to help others, let us, like Peter and John, always recognize our own need for that greatest treasure, which is our relationship with the Risen Lord.