At the resumption of catechesis after the summer break, Pope Francis comments on the first miracle described in the Acts of the Apostles. The "game of looks" between the cripple, Peter and John. The Church "place of liberation and healing". The memory of Edith Stein and her courageous choices: "an authentic conversion to Christ", the "gift of her life against all forms of intolerance and ideological perversion". Many pilgrims from Asia are present.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Peter and John teach us not to trust in the means, which are also useful, but in the true wealth that is our relationship with the Risen One": Pope Francis said this at the end of his catechesis, taken up today after the summer break in July. Following the cycle dedicated to the Acts of the Apostles and to the first mission of the Church, to the thousands of faithful gathered in the Paul VI hall, the pontiff commented today on the miracle of the cripple at the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3, 3-6), "first account of healing of the Book of Acts ”.
"The Mosaic Law (cf. Lv 21:18) - he explained - prevented offering sacrifices to those who had physical disabilities, considered a consequence of some fault. And later they were even denied access to the Temple. The cripple, paradigm of the many excluded and discarded of society, is there to ask for alms as every day. When something unexpected happens: Peter and John arrive and a game of looks is triggered. The cripple looks at the two to ask for alms, but the apostles stare at him, inviting him to look towards them in a different way, to receive another gift. The cripple looks at them and Peter tells him: "I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, rise up and walk!" (Acts 3,6). The apostles have established a relationship, because this is the way in which God loves to manifest himself, in the relationship, through a real encounter between people that can only happen in love ".
"Here - he continued - the portrait of the Church appears, which sees those in difficulty, does not close their eyes, knows how to look at humanity in the face to create meaningful relationships, bridges of friendship and solidarity instead of barriers. The face of "a Church without borders that feels the mother of all" appears (Evangelii gaudium, 210), who knows how to take by the hand and accompany to lift".
Thanks to the Church, "place of liberation and healing", now the cripple "walks, jumps and praises God. He can live celebrating the Love that created him for life and for joy. The excluded from the cult can now enter the Temple; the marginalized from the liturgy becomes a singer of the great works of God, and this because, as Peter explains to the people, faith in the name of Jesus gave him "the perfect healing" (Acts 3:16). The Church, in the person of the Apostles, has poured the medicinal ointment of proximity and the balm of consolation on a child of God forced to live in affliction and humiliation. It is the Church "field hospital", a house with open doors, a mother with a tender and caring heart ".
"Peter and John - he concluded - teach us not to trust in the means, which are also useful, but in the true wealth that is our relationship with the Risen One. We are indeed - as St. Paul would say - "poor, but capable of enriching many; as people who have nothing and instead possess everything "(2 Cor 6:10). Our all is the Gospel, which manifests the power of the name of Jesus who performs wonders.
And we, what do we have? What is our wealth, our treasure? What can we make others rich with? We ask the Father for the gift of a grateful memory in remembering the benefits of His love in our lives, to give everyone the witness of praise and gratitude ".
At the end of his speech and after greetings in different languages, Francis recalled that the day after tomorrow will be the feast of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Virgin and Martyr, Co-patroness of Europe, converted Jew, philosopher, who become a Carmelite nun and was killed in Auschwitz. "I invite everyone - said Francis - to look at her courageous choices, expressed in an authentic conversion to Christ, as well as in the gift of his life against all forms of intolerance and ideological perversion".
There were pilgrims from China, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and the Middle East present at the general audience.