Holy Spirit is key to evangelisation, says pope
Without the Holy Spirit, there can be no evangelisation, Pope Francis said at a general audience on 2 October.
He also said the Holy Spirit can “push” believers to witness to their faith and even become martyrs.
“In evangelisation, the Holy Spirit makes you leave, pushing you to proclaim with testimony, even with martyrdom and words,” he said.
Pope Francis was continuing his weekly reflections on the Acts of the Apostles. He pinpointed how the Holy Spirit led the deacon Philip to a spiritual encounter with a wealthy Ethiopian eunuch, who was then baptised.
“The Holy Spirit marks a new stage in the journey of the Gospel: it pushes Philip to go towards a stranger (the Ethiopian) with a heart open to God,” he said.
The pope also highlighted the importance of the Word of God in the story. The Ethiopian recognised the need for guidance in understanding the Word of God. When he understood, he was inspired to express a desire for a relationship with Christ.
“Entering the Word of God is being willing to go out of one’s own limits to meet and conform to Christ, who is the living Word of the Father,” he said.
The pope’s words come days after his announcement of a special day dedicated to the word of God. This will take place on the third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Announcing the annual event in an apostolic letter, Aperuit Illis, he said: “A day devoted to the Bible should not be seen as a yearly event but rather a yearlong event, for we urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the risen Lord, who continues to speak his word and to break bread in the community of believers.”
During the General Audience, the pope prayed for all who have been baptised. He prayed that the Holy Spirit will “make baptised men and women who announce the Gospel to attract others not to themselves but to Christ.”
He illustrated the best way of “attracting others to Christ” by showing who compelled Philip to meet the Ethiopian eunuch.
“It is the Holy Spirit,” he said.
“The Holy Spirit is the protagonist of evangelisation.”
Picture: Pope Francis gives a thumbs-up as he greets pilgrims during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 2 October 2019. (CNS photo/Yara Nardi, Reuters)Tags: Bible, Bible readings, catholic, Catholic Church, Christian, Christians, Church, general audience, Holy Spirit, Pope, Pope Francis, rome, the Holy Spirit, the vatican, Vatican, Vatican News