POPE FRANCIS - Audience 20June

Dear brothers and sisters: In our catechesis on the commandments, we have seen that Jesus, God’s incarnate Word, came not to abolish but to fulfil the Law. God’s commandments are part of his ongoing covenantal dialogue with his people; indeed, in Hebrew, the ten commandments are called God’s ten “words”. As “words”, they are not so much orders to be obeyed but an invitation to shape our lives in a loving relationship with the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit. God is not – as the Tempter would have us believe – a despot demanding blind obedience, but a Father concerned for the welfare of his children. Thanks to the gift of the Spirit, we are able freely to accept and obey God’s law as the path to authentic human fulfilment. In our lives as Christians, we are called to pass from the letter of the Law to the freedom of the Spirit. In all our words and actions, may we show that obedience to the law of Christ is no mere legalism, but a response of filial love for God and confident trust in his saving plan for our world.


 Birthday of John the Baptist 
This beautiful celebration breaks into Ordinary Time, but it breaks in to help us understand something of what we are called to be as disciples on mission! John helps us to think about our discipleship: pointing away from ourselves and pointing others in the direction of Jesus; leaping in the womb, able to recognise where Christ is to be found and where Christ is near; decreasing in order that Christ may increase; a prophetic call of return so that we can find mercy and compassion in the Lord; recognising the call of God in our own lives and allowing God to call others through us – God’s word in our mouths; and, looking at Elizabeth and Zechariah, always being open to being surprised by God and his faithfulness. But the psalm holds something we might take into this week as part of our prayer: I thank you for the wonder of my being. Do we spend time thanking God for who we are, for the fact that he calls us, that he fashioned us, that he walks with us? As we do that let’s be little ‘John the Baptists’ in all we do to lead others to encounter Christ… even in us! 


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