General Audience, Pope Francis comments on the Letter to the Galatians

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This was the Pontiff’s third catechesis dedicated to the theme. In the previous catecheses, he commented on the difficulties faced by the disciple in the work of evangelization in Galatia.

Newsroom (05/08/2021 12:45, Gaudium Press) In his first audience after the summer break, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Letter to the Galatians with the theme “The Gospel is one”. This was the Pontiff’s third catechesis dedicated to the theme. In the previous catecheses, he commented on the difficulties faced by the disciple in the work of evangelization in Galatia.

A simple servant of Jesus Christ chosen to announce the Gospel

Presenting himself as a simple servant of Jesus Christ, chosen to be an apostle, reserved to proclaim the Gospel of God, Paul affirms that he can do nothing else but dedicate himself with all his strength to this mission.

“One can understand the sadness, the disappointment and even the bitter irony of the Apostle towards the Galatians, who in his eyes take a wrong path, which will lead them to a point of no return. The axis around which everything revolves is the Gospel, which is expressed with four verbs: ‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; he was buried and rose on the third day according to the Scriptures; he appeared to Cephas,'” he comments.

The Gospel is one

Pope Francis explained that, faced with such a great gift, the Apostle cannot explain why the Galatians are thinking of accepting another “gospel”. However, they have not yet abandoned the Gospel of Jesus and the Apostle knows that there is still time to save them from error. “The Gospel is one and it is the one he announced; there can be no other,” Paul says.

“Paul does not say that the true Gospel is his because he is the one who announced it, no! This would be presumptuous, it would be boastful. Rather, he affirms that ‘his’ Gospel, the same Gospel that the other Apostles proclaimed in other places, is the only authentic one, because it is that of Jesus Christ,” the Pope emphasized.

The Gospel preached by me has nothing human about it

In his letter to the Galatians, Saint Paul assures them that “the Gospel which I preach has nothing human about it. I did not receive it from any man, nor did I learn it from any man, but through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal 1:11). Using harsh terms, he concludes by saying that “faith in Jesus is not a commodity to be traded.”

The Pontiff concludes by saying that the Apostle was aware “that his mission is of a divine nature and therefore he is moved by a total enthusiasm for the newness of the Gospel. His pastoral anxiety leads him to be severe because he sees the great risk that young Christians face. Paul’s clear and decisive word was healthy for the Galatians and is salutary for us too.” (EPC)

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