“The community born of baptism is free, it is a new Church; and we must let it grow, help it to grow in its own way, with its own culture”, are words of Pope Francis to the Neocatechumenal Community present at the Vatican this morning (27)
Jane Nogara – Vatican News
This Monday morning (27) Pope Francis received the members of the Neocatechumenal Way at the Vatican. In his unscheduled speech, the Pope began by reminding those present of the mission that Jesus gave to everyone: “’Go, bear witness, preach the Gospel’. And from that day on, the apostles, the disciples, the people, all left with the same strength that Jesus had given them: it is the strength that comes from the Spirit. ‘Go and preach… Baptize…’”.
And then he added:
Emphasizing this point again, he said: “All are equal in faith (…) the same faith. But all with the modality of their own culture or the culture of the place where the faith was preached”.
Many cultures, but the same Gospel
“And this work, this multicultural richness of the Gospel – Francis continued – which is born from the preaching of Jesus Christ and becomes culture, is a bit the history of the Church: many cultures, but the same Gospel. So many peoples, the same Jesus Christ. So many good wills, the same Spirit. And to that we are called: to go forth with the power of the Spirit, carrying the Gospel in our hearts and in our hands. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, not mine: it is of Jesus Christ, which adapts to different cultures, but it is the same. Faith grows, faith is inculturated, but faith is always the same”.
“This missionary spirit – Francis said to the Neocatechumenals – of letting oneself be sent is an inspiration for all of you. I thank you for this and I ask for docility to the Spirit who sends you, docility and obedience to Jesus Christ in his Church. Everything in the Church, nothing outside the Church. This is the spirituality that must always accompany us: to preach Jesus Christ with the power of the Spirit in the Church and with the Church. And the one who is the head – let’s say – of the different Churches is the bishop: you must always go ahead with the bishop, always. He is the head of the Church, in this country, in this state…”, concluded Francis, finally thanking everyone for their generosity.