WEEKLY GENERAL AUDIENCES RESUME IN PAUL VI HALL – POPE APPEALS FOR CONCRETE HELP FOR LEBANON ONE YEAR AFTER PORT EXPLOSION

WEEKLY GENERAL AUDIENCES RESUME IN PAUL VI

After his summer pause of a month that included colon surgery exactly a month ago, Pope Francis today resumed the weekly general audiences and continued a catechesis he had started on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. The audience was held in the air conditioned Paul VI Hall and, though the hall was not filled to capacity, there did not always seem to be social distancing among the enthusiastic pilgrims.

When the Pope entered the hall to great applause, he was wearing a mask but that came off rather quickly. He did not put it back on when he met some of the bishops in attendance at the audience. (photos Daniel Ibanez EWTN)

He began the catechesis by stating, “we now consider Paul’s insistence on complete fidelity to the Gospel. For Paul, the proclamation of the Christian message was his very life. What he preached to the Galatians was in fact the apostolic kerygma, which summarized the fulfilment of all God’s promises in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, was buried, rose on the third day, and appeared to Peter.”

Kerygma come from an ancient Greek word and means “proclamation,” the proclaiming of the Gospel. It is used in the New Testament.

“When it comes to the Gospel and to the mission to evangelize, Paul is enthusiastic! Everything in him is dedicated to this proclamation, and has no interest other than the Gospel.”

Francis said, “This explains why, at the beginning of the Letter, Paul urges the Galatians so forcefully not to turn away from the freedom brought by the Gospel. For that Gospel, entrusted to the apostles, offers to all – ourselves included – the assurance of new life and freedom flowing from the cross of Christ and the gift of his Holy Spirit.”

POPE APPEALS FOR CONCRETE HELP FOR LEBANON ONE YEAR AFTER PORT EXPLOSION

At the end of the audience catechesis in eight languages, the Holy Father had greetings for various groups, as well as a heartfelt appeal for Lebanon:

“In these days, I think especially of the beloved country of Lebanon a year after the terrible port explosion in its capital, Beirut, with its toll of death and destruction. I think above all of the victims and their families, the many injured, and those who lost their homes and livelihoods. So many people have lost the desire to go on.

“During the Day of Prayer and Reflection for Lebanon last July 1st, together with Christian religious leaders, all of us listened to the hopes and aspirations, the frustrations and weariness of the Lebanese people, and we prayed for God’s gift of hope to overcome this difficult crisis.

“Today I would also appeal to the international community to offer Lebanon concrete assistance, not only with words but with concrete actions in undertaking a journey of ‘resurrection’. It is my hope that the current International Conference hosted by France with the support of the United Nations will prove productive in this regard.

“Dear Lebanese friends, I greatly desire to visit you and I continue to pray for you, so that Lebanon will once more be a message of peace and fraternity for the entire Middle East.”