BE GOD’S INSTRUMENTS OF HEALING LIKE THE APOSTLES
Pope Francis resumed his weekly general audiences by presiding at the first audience of August in the air-conditioned Paul VI Hall. He continued his catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, urging the faithful to trust in the Lord, and to act in His name, as the Apostles did.
The Holy Father focused his catechesis on the first account of healing in the Book of Acts of the Apostles: Peter and John’s healing of the Paralytic.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” began Francis. “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.”
He explained that, “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.”
Francis emphasized that “Peter and John do not 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,” said the Pope, whose predilection for the poor, homeless and oppressed is well known.
“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.” (Source: Vaticannews)
FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED: TEN WAYS TO GET IN TROUBLE IN ITALY
The online edition of The Guardian today published an article noting that tourists who actually down and rest on Rome’s celebrated Spanish Steps at Piazza di Spagna may face a fine of €250 due to new laws being promulgated by Rome’s city government. Resting on the steps has been a time-honored tradition since they were first built in the early 18th century but all that may be over for visitors who just want to rest in the almost tropical heat of Rome or at the halfway point of climbing the 136 steps.
The Guardian story ends on this note:
As Rome and other Italian cities continue their crackdown on “uncouth” behavior, you might get in trouble if you do any of the following:
· “Messy eating” or “camping out” on piazzas or the steps of monuments.
· Singing, while drunk, on public transport.
· Wrapping your mouth around the nozzle of a drinking fountain.
· Walking around bare-chested.
· Dragging wheeled suitcases and buggies down historic staircases.
· Jumping into fountains.
· Dipping your toes into a canal in Venice.
· Feeding pigeons in Venice.
· Building sandcastles in Eraclea, a beach town near Venice.