TRUE FREEDOM BORN OF LOVE OF GOD AND FULFILLED IN CHARITY
At the general audience today in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, turning to what he termed “the freedom to which we have been called in Christ.”
The new life we received in baptism has made us sons and daughters of the Father and set us free from slavery to sin and death. Paul teaches that our freedom in Christ is not an opportunity for self-indulgence but a summons to be “servants of one another” (Gal 5:13) within the community of believers.
Paul tells us that only “through love” (ibid.), given in generous service to the poor, can our freedom in Christ grow and bear fruit. Jesus exemplified this life of selfless love at the Last Supper, when, on the eve of his saving passion and death, he washed the disciples’ feet, teaching us to do likewise. Christian freedom has an essentially social dimension.
“The effects of the current pandemic,” said the Holy Father, “invite us to overcome reductive individualistic ideas of freedom and to rediscover its deeper communitarian aspect. Through our witness to the liberating power of Christ’s grace, may we help others to see that authentic freedom is born of the love of God and finds its fulfilment in charity.”
A 10-YEAR OLD BOY GIVES POPE A LESSON ON FREEDOM
At about the five-minute mark in the video of the audience, a 10-year old disabled boy Paoletto comes on the stage and talks to Pope Francis. He seems to want to stay on the stage so Msgr. Sapienza gives him his seat next to the Pope while an usher eventually brings out another chair for monsignor. Paoletto talks to Msgr. Sapienza and then to one of the monsignori giving the catechesis in translation. Paoletto clearly indicates he wants the papal zucchetto. (ANSA photo)
The camera then focusses on the monsignor speaking in Portuguese and when it again focuses on the Pope, we do not see Paoletto who had returned to his seat. The Vatican newspaper reported that the boy returned to his seat with a zucchetto but when tv cameras focus on the Pope he is clearly wearing one.
In addition, though not seen in the video, photographers captured this image of Paoletto and his mother speaking to the Pope.
Pope Francis made some off-the-cuff remarks about freedom after his encounter with Paoletto. “When this young man felt free to move about as if he was at home, what comes to my mind is what Jesus said about the freedom and spontaneity of children.”
He thanked Paoletto “for the lesson you gave us. May the Lord help him in his limitations and his growth because his gave this witness right from the heart.” Pope at Audience: Freedom is born in God’s love, grows in charity – Vatican News