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Pope's general audience of Holy Week



April 16, 2014 - Pope Francis held his weekly general audience in the Vatican on Wednesday of the Holy Week. The public meeting is an opportunity for pilgrims and tourists visiting Rome to see and hear the Pope, and also receive his blessing. The general audience of April 16 was held in the open, in a blustery but sunny St. Peter’s Square in Rome. It began with aides reading a passage from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians in several languages.
Listen: RealAudioMP3

Pope Francis then delivered his main discourse in Italian - summaries of which were read out by aides in various languages, including in English. But first, the aide greeted the Pope on behalf of the English-speaking pilgrims.
Listen: RealAudioMP3

… Dear Brothers and Sisters: The Gospel of this Wednesday of Holy Week presents the betrayal of Judas, which marks the beginning of Christ’s Passion. Out of love for us, Jesus freely walked the path of humiliation and self-abandonment for our salvation. As Saint Paul says, “he emptied himself… and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:7-8). As we contemplate Jesus in his passion, we see reflected the sufferings of all humanity and we discover God’s answer to the mystery of evil, suffering and death. He gives us his Son, who dies humiliated, betrayed, abandoned and reviled. Yet God’s victory shines forth in what appears, in human terms, to be failure and defeat. Jesus’ passion is the culmination of his revelation of the Father’s infinite love and his summons to faith in his word. Christ takes upon himself the power of evil in order to set us free: “by his wounds we have been healed” (cf. 1 Pet 2:24). This week, as we follow Jesus along the way of the cross, may we imitate his loving obedience to the will of the Father, especially in times of difficulty and humiliation, and open our hearts to his gifts of reconciliation, redemption and new life.

… I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, including those from England, Australia, Canada and the United States. My particular greeting goes to the delegation from the NATO Defense College and to the many young people present. Upon all of you, and upon your families, I invoke the gifts of the Spirit for a fruitful celebration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord. God bless you all! (BLESSING)




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