06/12/2019, 13.59
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Pope: communion conquers divisions, it is the first witness

It is the first testimony that the Apostles offer, even today it is the way to be witnesses, it is in the "DNA of the Christian community", it is a victory "over the mentality that absolutizes the private space". "It is not permissible to destroy life, make it the object of experimentation or false conceptions".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Communion conquers divisions, it is the first testimony that the Apostles offer, it is still the way to be witnesses, it is in the "DNA of the Christian community", it is victory "over the mentality that absolutizes the private space ".

Communion in the Christian community was the topic discussed by Pope Francis at today's general audience, during which he greeted Polish pilgrims and reiterated that "life is sacred because it is a gift from God. We are called to defend it and serve it from conception in the womb until old age, when it is marked by infirmity and suffering. It is not permissible to destroy life, make it the object of experimentation or false conceptions. I ask you to pray that human life will always be respected, thus witnessing to Gospel values ​​especially in the context of the family ".

Previously, to the 20 thousand people present in St. Peter's Square, the Pope, continuing in the catechesis dedicated to the Acts of the Apostles, spoke of the theme "He was numbered with the eleven apostles" (Acts, 1, 21-22.26).

In Acts, Francis observed "is the journey of the Gospel". "Everything starts from the Resurrection of Christ. This, in fact, is not an event among others, but is the source of new life. The disciples know this and - obedient to Jesus' command - remain united, united and persevering in prayer. They huddle around Mary, the Mother, and prepare to receive the power of God not in a passive way, but consolidating the communion between them. That first community was formed by 120 brothers and sisters: a number that carries within it the 12, emblematic for Israel, because it represents the twelve tribes, and emblematic for the Church, because of the twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus. But now, after the painful events of the Passion, the Apostles of the Lord are no longer twelve, but eleven. One of them, Judas, is no longer there: he has taken his life crushed by remorse ”.

"He had already begun to separate himself from communion with the Lord and with others, to go alone, to isolate himself, to cling to money to the point of exploiting the poor, to lose sight of the horizon of gratuitousness and self-giving, to the point of allowing the virus of pride to infect his mind and heart, transforming him from a "friend" (Mt 26.50) into an enemy and into "leader of those who arrested Jesus" (Acts 1:17). Judas had received the great grace of being part of the group of intimate people of Jesus and of participating in his own ministry, but at a certain point he claimed to "save" his own life with the result he lost it (see Lk 9:24 ). He ceased to belong to Jesus with his heart and placed himself outside of communion with him and his own. He stopped being a disciple and placed himself above the Master. He sold him and with the "price of his crime" he bought land, which produced no fruit but was imbued with his own blood (see Acts 1: 18-19) ".

"If Judas preferred death to life (see Dt 30:19; Sir 15.17) and followed the example of the wicked whose life is like darkness and goes to ruin (see Pr 4:19; Ps 1 , 6), the Eleven instead choose life and blessing, they become responsible in making it flow in history, from generation to generation, from the people of Israel to the Church. The evangelist Luke shows us that in the face of the abandonment of one of the Twelve, who has wounded the community body, his assignment has to pass to another. And who could fill his place? Peter indicates the requirement: the new member must have been a disciple of Jesus from the beginning, that is, from baptism in the Jordan, to the end, that is, to his ascension to Heaven (see Acts 1: 21-22). The group of the Twelve needs to be reconstituted. At this point the practice of community discernment is inaugurated, which consists in seeing reality with the eyes of God, in the perspective of unity and communion ”.

“There are two candidates: Joseph Barsabbas and Matthias. Then all the community prayed thus: “Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen to take the place . . . from which Judas turned aside” (Acts 24-25). And, through casting lots, the Lord indicated Matthias, who was enrolled with the Eleven. Thus, the body of the Twelve was reconstituted, sign that communion wins over divisions, over isolation, over the mentality that absolutizes private space, sign that communion is the first testimony that the Apostles offer. Jesus had said to them: “By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John13:35). In the Acts of the Apostles, the Twelve manifest the Lord’s style. They are accredited witnesses of Christ’s work of salvation and they don’t manifest to the world their presumed perfection but, through the grace of unity, they make Another emerge, who now lives in a new way in the midst of His people. And who is this? It is the Lord Jesus. The Apostles chose to live under the lordship of the Risen One in unity among brothers, which becomes the only atmosphere possible for the genuine gift of self.”

“We are also in need of rediscovering the beauty of witnessing to the Risen One, coming out of self-referential attitudes, renouncing to hold back the gifts of God and not yielding to mediocrity. The regrouping of the Apostolic College shows how in the DNA of the Christian community there is unity and freedom from oneself, which enables one not to fear diversity, not to attach oneself to things and gifts and to become martyrs, luminous witnesses of the God living and operating in history”.

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