Pope: “Like Peter and Paul, let us experience our liberation with Christ”

In his homily on the occasion of the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Pope Francis recalled that these two “giants of faith” were freed from the chains of their lives after having met Christ. Francis invited us to follow the example of these apostles “being collaborators of this liberation, breaking chains in our cities, our societies, our world”, because “only a free Church is a credible Church”.

Sofia Lobos – Vatican City

On Tuesday June 29, Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in the Vatican Basilica on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, martyrs and patrons of Rome.

In his homily the Holy Father invited to “observe closely” these two witnesses to the faith, who put at the center of their stories, “not their abilities, but the encounter with Christ who changed their lives, experiencing a love that healed and healed them. released them. “

“Pedro and Pablo are free only because they were released,” Francisco said, stopping at this central point:

“Peter, the Galilean fisherman, was freed first of all from the feeling of inadequacy and the bitterness of failure, and this happened thanks to the unconditional love of Jesus. Although he was an expert fisherman, several times, in the middle of the night, he experienced the bitter taste of defeat for not having caught anything and, faced with the empty nets, he was tempted to abandon everything. Despite being strong and impetuous, he was often carried away by fear. However, Jesus loved him freely and bet on him “

Peter and Paul were freed by Jesus

In this sense, the Pope stressed that despite Peter’s weaknesses, the Son of God does not abandon him, rather, “encourages him not to surrender, to throw his nets back into the sea, to walk on water, to look with courage at his own weakness, to follow him on the way of the cross. In this way he freed him from fear, and called him precisely to him to confirm his brothers in the faith “.

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As we have heard in the Gospel Francisco added, to He gave her the keys to open the doors that lead to the encounter with the Lord and the power to bind and loose: to bind the brothers to Christ and to untie the knots and chains of their lives.

For the Pontiff, all this was possible because – as today’s first reading tells us – Peter was the first to be freed: “It is a new story of opening, of liberation, of broken chains, of leaving the captivity that it holds. Peter had the Passover experience: the Lord freed him. “

Likewise, Francis recalled that the apostle Paul also experienced the liberation of Christ:

“He was freed from the most oppressive bondage, that of his ego. And from Saul, the name of the first king of Israel, it became Paul, which means ‘little’. He was freed from the religious zeal that had made him a fierce defender of the traditions he had received. Thus, Paul understood that “God chose the weak in the world to confuse the strong” (1 Cor 1,27), that we can do all things in him who strengthens us, that nothing can separate us from his love (cf. Rm 8,35 -39). For this reason, at the end of his life – as the second reading tells us – the apostle was able to say: “the Lord assisted me” and “he will continue to deliver me from every evil deed.” Paul had the Passover experience: the Lord freed him “

In this context, the Holy Father pointed out that the Church looks “at these two giants of faith and sees two Apostles who released the power of the Gospel in the world, only because before they were released by their encounter with Christ.”

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Let us be collaborators of this liberation in the world

Likewise, Francis recalled that we, touched by the Lord, are also liberated, something that is fundamental because only a free Church is a credible Church.

“Like Pedro, we are called to free ourselves from the feeling of defeat in the face of our fishing, sometimes unsuccessful; to free ourselves from the fear that immobilizes us and makes us fearful, locking us in our securities and taking away the courage of prophecy. Like Paul, we are called to be free from the hypocrisies of exteriority, to be free from the temptation to impose ourselves with the strength of the world instead of with the weakness that allows God, free from a religious observance that makes us rigid and inflexible, free from ambiguous ties to power and the fear of being misunderstood and attacked “

In his address, the Pope invited us to ask ourselves how much need for liberation our cities, our societies, our world have, and consequently, he exhorted us to become collaborators of this liberation, “but only -he pointed- if before we let ourselves be liberated by the novelty of Jesus and we walk in the freedom of the Holy Spirit “.

Greetings to the Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Referring to the brother archbishops who receive the pallium, Francis emphasized that “This sign of unity with Peter recalls the mission of the shepherd who gives his life for the flock. By giving his life, the pastor, freed from himself, becomes an instrument of liberation for his brothers. “

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Before concluding, the Holy Father greeted the Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, present at the Holy Mass and sent for this occasion by His Holiness Bartholomew I: “Your pleasant presence is a precious sign of unity on the path of liberation from the distances that scandalously divide believers in Christ “, Francis concluded, praying for the whole Church, “for all of us so that, released for Christ, let us be apostles of deliverance in the entire world”.

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