Pope in General Audience: Let us not be afraid of those who try to silent and slander us
Not a minute had passed and Pope Francis was already welcoming children on to the popemobile, when it entered St. Peter's Square.
He began his journey around the square with the popemobile packed. After the past weeks in Paul VI Audience Hall, the General Audience finally returned to St. Peter's Square.
Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles. This time he reflected on when St. Peter passes through Solomon's portico and his shadow heals the sick.
The pope recalled how throughout the ages the sick have always been at the heart of the Church; and even during St. Peter's time it was already “a field hospital” for those most in need.
The sick are the privileged recipients of the happy proclamation of the Kingdom. They are brothers and sisters in whom Christ is present in a special way to allow Himself to be sought and found by all of us. The sick are the privileged for the Church; for the priestly heart; and for all the faithful. They are not disposable. On the contrary, they must be treated and cared for. They are the object of Christian concern.
The pope said Peter receives leadership from Jesus. However, this does not make him believe he is more important than others. This is because he knows it is Another who manifests Himself through his works.
In this way, God manifests His closeness and makes the wounds of His children the theological place of His tenderness. In the wounds of the sick, in the illnesses that prevent us from moving forward in life. It is there where Jesus is always present. It is there where He calls each one of us to take care of the sick, to support them and to heal them.
The teaching of the apostles and Peter disturb the Sadducees who persecute them and imprison them. However, the apostles are clear, “we must obey God rather than men.”
Let us also ask the Holy Spirit for the strength not to be frightened when people try to silent us, slander us or attack our life.
Finally, Pope Francis also recalled that September marks the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. For this reason, he wished the memory of this conflict would prevent the repetition of these tragedies caused by hatred, which only bring destruction, suffering and death.