Evangelise without prejudice: Pope

Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican yesterday (CNS/Paul Haring)

God wants everyone to be saved, which is why those who evangelise must avoid letting their prejudices get in the way of God’s plan, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNS.

“An evangeliser cannot be an obstacle to the creative work of God, who ‘wills everyone to be saved,’ but one who fosters an encounter of hearts with the Lord,” the Pope said during his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square.

The Pope also recalled the day marked the anniversary of the 1978 election of St John Paul II.

“Let us thank the Lord for everything good that happened in the Church, in the world and in people’s hearts because of the words, deeds and holiness of John Paul II. Let us remember that his appeal to open your heart to Christ is always timely,” he said when greeting Polish-speaking visitors.

In his main catechesis, the Pope continued his series of talks on the Acts of the Apostles.

He reflected on St Luke’s account of Cornelius — the generous and God-fearing pagan, and St Peter, whom God calls to meet with Cornelius. It was unlawful at the time for a Jewish man to meet with a Gentile, and Peter is harshly rebuked by the community in Jerusalem for visiting and baptising him.

But God had told Peter, who had felt compelled to follow Jewish laws and restrictions, that “What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.”

Peter learns “God shows no partiality” and that “whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him,” according to the Gospel account.

In his catechesis, the Pope said God wanted Peter to no longer judge or see people and external acts as clean or unclean, “but to learn to go beyond that, by looking at the person and the intentions in their heart. What makes a person unclean, in fact, doesn’t come from the outside, but from the inside, from their heart. Jesus said this clearly.”

The Pope said Peter learns to open his mind and heart to God’s “creativity” so that all people could receive the blessings promised to Israel.

Pope Francis asked that everyone learn what an evangeliser must be from Peter’s example

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Pope: Evangelisation must help, not hinder, people getting closer to God (CNS)

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