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Pope's general audience of April 24, appeal for Syria

24 April, 2013 - Every week on Wednesday, the Pope holds a public meeting, called the general audience, during which pilgrims and tourists who come to Rome have a chance of seeing and hearing him speak and also receive his blessing. The general audience of April 24 was held in the open, in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square. It began with several aides reading in several languages, a passage from the Gospel of Matthew on the second coming of Christ. Pope Francis delivered his main discourse in Italian. Various aides then greeted him on behalf of the language groups, wishing him also for his name feast of George the previous day, Tuesday. The aides took turns to read summaries of the Pope’s catechesis in in various languages, including in English.

n our continuing catechesis on the Creed, we now consider the article which deals with Christ’s second coming: “He will come again in glory, to judge the living and the dead”. Just as human history began with the creation of man and woman in the image of God, so it will end with Christ’s return and the final judgment. The parables of Jesus help us to understand our responsibility before God and one another in this present age. The parable of the wise and foolish virgins reminds us that we must be spiritually prepared to meet the Lord when he comes. The parable of the talents emphasizes our responsibility to use wisely God’s gifts, making them bear abundant fruit. Here I would ask the many young people present to be generous with their God-given talents for the good of others, the Church and our world. Finally, the parable of the final judgement reminds us that, in the end, we will be judged on our love for others and especially for those in need. Through these parables, our Lord teaches us to await his coming with fear but confident trust, ever watchful for the signs of his presence and faithful in prayer and works of charity, so that when he comes he will find us his good and faithful servants.

Pope Francis greeted the language groups from various countries present at the audience. He also drew attention to the worsening situation in Syria, regretting the kidnapping of two orthodox bishops in the north of the country. Speaking in Italian he said the conflicting news about their release is another sign of the tragic situation in a country where violence and arms continue to sow death and suffering. While I remember the two bishops in my prayer, I ask God to illumine hearts,” Pope Francis said, repeating his Easter appeal to end the bloodshed, to provide humanitarian aid to the people and find a solution to the crisis as early as possible. The Holy Father concluded Wednesday’s general audience with his blessing.

Receive the Pope’s blessing:RealAudioMP3


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