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Pope Francis: audience, “evangelising means to let ourselves be led by the Holy Spirit. Otherwise we risk proselytising”

(Foto Vatican Media/SIR)

“As Pope Benedict said at the beginning of the Synod on the Word of God, ‘exegesis, the true reading of Holy Scripture, is not only a literary phenomenon… It is the movement of my existence’”, Pope Francis recalled in the catechesis of today’s general audience. “Entering into the Word of God – he explained – means to be willing to go beyond our limitations to meet God and conform ourselves to Christ who is the living Word of the Father”. Commenting on deacon Philip’s encounter with the official of the Queen of Ethiopia, the Pope asked: “Who is then the protagonist of the fourth Servant song that the Ethiopian official was reading? Philip gives his interlocutor the answer: it is that mild suffering servant, who does not respond to evil with evil, who despite being regarded as unsuccessful and sterile, and eventually had his life taken, frees his people from iniquity and bears fruit for God. It is that Christ who is proclaimed by Philip and the whole Church!”. “It is that Christ who has redeemed us all by his death and resurrection. Finally – the Pope continued, speaking off the cuff – the Ethiopian acknowledges Christ and asks for Baptism. This story is beautiful, but who led Philip to the desert to meet this Ethiopian? Who prompted Philip to approach the chariot? It was the Holy Spirit, protagonist of evangelisation”. “There is no evangelisation – he explained off the cuff – without the Holy Spirit; there may be proselytism, but evangelising means to let ourselves be led by the Holy Spirit. He will inspire us to bear witness even by martyrdom and by word”.

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