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General Public: The Pope calls on Christians to be open

General Public: The Pope calls on Christians to be open

“The Christian must be open to the Word of God and to serving others,” Francis said Wednesday at the general audience. He based his Christian teaching on what happened in the Gospel of Mark, where Jesus opened the ears and lips of the deaf and dumb (see Mark 7:31-35).

This Wednesday, Francis concluded the series of catechesis on apostolic zeal that he had delivered over the past few months. At the beginning of his speech to the pilgrims in the reception hall, the Pope said that strengthening the passion for proclaiming the Gospel is the concern of every Christian. He greatly abridged the prepared Catechism, but presented it himself.

“Effatà” is the Aramaic word by which, according to biblical tradition, Jesus speaks to the deaf and mute whom he heals with his touch. There is another important sign in this episode, says Francis, where Jesus says this word not so much to the deaf and mute man who cannot hear it, but precisely to the disciples around him, as at all times: “We too, they we have received the outpouring of the Spirit in baptism We are called to open ourselves. “Open yourselves,” Jesus says to every believer and to his Church: “Open yourselves, because the message of the Gospel needs to be witnessed and proclaimed!”

“Closed Christians always end badly because they are not Christians, they are ideologues, closed ideologues.”

This also makes us think about the position of the Christian, who must be open, which is the essence of the Pope’s words: “Closed Christians always end badly, because they are not Christians, but rather ideologues, closed ideologues.” The Christian must be open: in proclaiming the Word, in welcoming brothers and sisters. This “fatwa”, this “openness”, is an invitation to all of us.

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“As baptized persons, we must all feel called to ‘bear witness to Jesus and proclaim him,’” Pope Francis said. “And we ask for the grace to be able to carry out pastoral and missionary conversion as a Church,” Francis stressed.

Pope Francis in the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square

Pope Francis in the Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square

After the general audience, Francis made another unannounced visit to the nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square, which he had already inspected during the construction phase last week. This Wednesday also marks the anniversary of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s ordination as a priest, which he received on December 13, 1969 in Buenos Aires.

(Vatican News – CS)