WHAT A WEEK!
And it’s only just begun!
Last Sunday Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
On Monday the Vatican announced a papal document by which Pope Francis instituted the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time as Sunday of the Word of God.
On Tuesday, October 1, the Holy Father celebrated Vespers at six in the evening in St. Peter’s to open the extraordinary missionary month of October.
Also Tuesday: Vatican prosecutors seized documents and electronic devices in a raid at the offices of the general affairs section of the Secretariat of State in connection with an investigation following complaints brought in early summer by the Institute for Religious Works (known as the Vatican Bank) and the office of the Auditor General.
Today, Wednesday was the general audience in Saint Peter Square at which Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, focusing, this week on the episode of the deacon Philip converting the Ethiopian. (see below).
Also Wednesday: It was announced that Pope Francis has named Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo, Malta as pro-secretary general of the Synod of Bishops. He will become secretary general when the mandate of the current secretary general, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, ends. Bishop Grech will act as apostolic administrator of Gozo until a new bishop is named.
Tomorrow, Thursday 34 young men, seminarians at the Pontifical North American College, will be ordained to the diaconate in a morning Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica
On Friday afternoon in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will confer Episcopal ordination on three priests whom he had earlier appointed as apostolic nuncios or ambassadors. They will have the rank of archbishop.
Saturday, the College of Cardinals will receive 13 new members as Pope Francis holds another consistory. Ten of the 13 are under the age of 80 and will be eligible to vote in a conclave until they reach 80.
Sunday, The Holy Father will preside Mass in St. Peter’s Square to open the October 6 to 27 synod on the Amazon.
The above schedule does not include all the press conferences and other events related to the consistory for new cardinals, the synod for the Amazon and the October 13th canonization of Cardinal John Henry Newman, one of 5 to be canonized that day. So yes, what a week!
POPE AT GENERAL AUDIENCE: HOLY SPIRIT IS THE PROTAGONIST OF EVANGELIZATION
Continuing his catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles at Wednesday’s General Audience this week, Pope Francis explains on how the Holy Spirit leads the deacon Philip to help the senior official of the Queen of Ethiopia to embrace Christ.
By Robin Gomes (vaticannews)
Pope Francis began his catechesis, explaining how after the persecution of Christians following the martyrdom of Stephen, the spread of the Gospel appeared to suffer a setback. As a result, many Christians dispersed elsewhere.
But persecution that appears to be the hallmark of Christ’s disciples, the Pope explained, “instead of extinguishing the fire of evangelization, feeds it even more”.
The deacon Philip, who was proclaiming the Gospel along with healing and casting out evil spirits in Samaria, is impelled by the Holy Spirit to meet a stranger with a heart open to God. With enthusiasm, he set off on a deserted and dangerous road to meet a senior official of the Queen of Ethiopia, the administrator of her treasures. The Jewish proselyte, a eunuch, was travelling home after worshipping in Jerusalem. In his carriage, he was reading a passage from the Prophet Isaiah on the “servant of the Lord”, but understood nothing.
Humility and Word of God
Philip approached the carriage and asked him if he understood the passage. The Ethiopian said he could not unless someone guided him. The Pope noted that this powerful man recognized the need to be guided in order to understand the Word of God.
“He was the great banker, he was the minister of economy, he had all the power of money,” the Pope noted, “but he knew that without the explanation he could not understand. He was humble.”
Word of God transforms life
Drawing a lesson from this conversation, the Holy Father said, “it is not enough to read Scripture, it is necessary to understand its meaning, to find the “juice” going beyond the “rind”, to draw the Spirit that animates the letter.”
In this regard, he recalled Pope Benedict XVI on exegesis, who said that the true reading of Sacred Scripture is not just a literary phenomenon, it is the movement of one’s existence. Pope Francis explained that entering the Word of God means to be willing to go beyond one’s own limits to encounter God and to conform oneself to Christ who is the living Word of the Father.
In fact, the Holy Father continued, Philip helped the Ethiopian understand that the “meek suffering servant” he was reading about was none other than Christ whom the whole Church was proclaiming. The Ethiopian finally recognized Christ and asked for Baptism and professed his faith in the Lord Jesus.
Holy Spirit – the protagonist of evangelization
Pope Francis said that it is the Holy Spirit who pushed Philip into the desert to meet this man, stressing, “The Holy Spirit is the protagonist of evangelization”. “If there is no Holy Spirit there is no evangelization,” he said, adding without Him it can be proselytism, advertising, anything… In evangelization, the Holy Spirit makes you leave, pushing you to proclaim with testimony, even with martyrdom and words.”
CLICK AND SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO ALBUM OF PAPAL AUDIENCE: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-10/pope-francis-general-audience-acts-philip-ethiopian-holy-spirit.html