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    » 01/31/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Holiness is in conversion and repentance, not in never making mistakes, says Pope



    In today’s general audience address, Benedict XVI talks about Saint Paul’s “collaborators”. “The apostle was open to the collaboration” of men and women, a sign that the “Church is one”.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Saints also disagreed among themselves and holiness does not imply not making mistakes, but rather is one’s capacity to convert and repent, to start all over, as the lives of some of Saint Paul’s collaborators show, i.e. people who devoted their lives to spreading the Gospel.

    Before 6,000 people gathered in the Paul VI Hall for the general audience, the Pope today spoke of the behaviour of Saint Paul’s companions, especially Barnabas, Silvanus and Apollos, who devoted themselves to evangelisation.

    Benedict XVI stressed first of all that all three were part of a wider group. “The apostle is open to collaboration; he does not try to do everything alone but relies of several helpers,” including women like Phoebe and Prisca. Among these the Pope focused on three, who played a particularly significant role in evangelisation.

    The Pope said that Barnabas was one of the first Christians who dedicated himself to evangelisation in Tarsus and Antioch and almost “returned” Paul to the Church. He went on mission with the apostle for what came to be known as the first missionary trip of the apostle of the peoples.

    “They were together at the so-called Council of Jerusalem, where the apostles decided to separate circumcision from the Christian identity”, thus opening the Church to the pagans.

    Paul and Barnabas “quarrelled however during their second missionary trip” over which comrade to bring along.

    For Benedict XVI this shows that “even among the saints there were disagreements” and this is “comforting”.

    “Holiness does not come from the capacity of not making mistakes;” instead, it grows from “the capacity to convert and repent, to start all over. [. . .] The capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness makes us saints,” he repeated

    Silvanus o Silas was “a Jew from Jerusalem.” Seen as a possible mediator between Jerusalem and Antioch, between Christians of Jewish origin and others, he went on mission to Corinth. Co-sender of the Letter to the Thessalonians, he is also mentioned in the first letter to Peter—“I write you this briefly through Silvanus” worked together and that the “Church is one”.

    Apollos, probably Apollonius, is especially linked to the evangelisation of Ephesus and later Corinth where, according to Luke, he was very useful to those who had become believers, showing through the scriptures that Jesus was the messiah.

    Apollos’ life is “problematic” because some members of the Church opposed others in his name, forcing Paul to intervene expressing appreciation for Apollos, but not for the Corinthians whom he accused of tearing the body of Christ.

    Some also believe Apollos is the author of the Letter to the Hebrews.

    All three have “in common their Jewish origin, their devotion to Jesus and the Gospel, and the fact that all three collaborated with the apostle Paul.”

    “All three found the meaning of life in the evangelising mission” and stand before us as luminous examples.

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    See also

    16/09/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: a spiritual leadership is needed for all, especially for the young
    Illustrating of Simeon the New Theologian, Benedict XVI stresses the importance of his reflections on the mystical experience of God. True knowledge of God comes not from books but from spiritual life. Love of God makes us consider over selves brothers and invites us to respond to hatred with love, to offenses with forgiveness.

    09/12/2009 VATICAN
    Pope: The Eucharist is not a "rite of socialization," in it Jesus is truly present
    Recalling the figure of Rupert of Deutz, the twelfth century Benedictine monk, in the general audience, Benedict XVI stresses that "when disputes arise in the Church, reference to the Petrine ministry gives guarantee of fidelity to the teaching and gives serenity and inner freedom."

    25/10/2006 VATICAN
    Pope: St Paul teaches salvation is for all as God is God of all

    Upholding the Apostle to the nations, Benedict XVI started another cycle of catechesis dedicated to men and women "who dedicated their lives to the Gospel and to the Lord".



    05/11/2008 VATICAN
    Christianity “is not an easy path” but a “demanding climb,” says Pope
    In discussing Saint Paul’s Christology, Benedict XVI highlights the central nature of the resurrection without which Christianity would be “absurd.” The Apostle’s respect for the tradition indicates that theologians “do not create new visions” but help understand the reality of the Resurrection.

    24/09/2008 VATICAN
    Christianity not born from a myth but from a meeting with Jesus, says Pope
    As he continues his reflections on Saint Paul, Benedict XVI stresses the importance the Apostle gave to the Risen’s earthly life and to his faithful adherence to what he learnt about him. This is evidence of the error made by those who claim that Paul was the founder of Christianity.



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