Under dagens allmänna audiens fortsatte påve Franciskus sin katekes utifrån Andra Vatikankonciliets dokument.
Dagens tema var Kyrkan som Guds folk. I Andra Vatikankonciliets konstitution om Kyrkan, Lumen Gentium, talas om Kyrkan som Guds folk (LG 9, se också Katolska Kyrkans Katekes 782). Vad menas med detta?
”First of all, it means that God does not really belong to any people; for it is He who calls us, who summons us, who invites us to be part of his people, and this invitation is open to all, without distinction, because God’s mercy “desires all people to be saved ”(1 Tim 2:4). Jesus does not tell the Apostles and us to form an exclusive group, an elite group. Jesus says: Go and make disciples of all nations (cf. Mt 28:19). St Paul says that within the people of God, in the Church, ”there is neither Jew nor Gentile … for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).
I would like to say to those who feel far from God and the Church, to those who are fearful or indifferent, to those who think they can no longer change: the Lord is calling you too to be part of his people and he does it with great respect and love! He invites us to be a part of this people, the people of God”
Sedan tar påven upp hur man blir medlem i detta folk. Det är inte genom den fysiska födelsen, utan genom en ny födelse: Jesus säger i samtalet med Nikodemus att man måste födas på nytt genom vatten och ande. (Joh 3:3-5)
Påven fortsätter att tala om kärleken som den grundläggande lagen för Guds folk:
”It is the law of love, love for God and love for our neighbor according to the new commandment that the Lord left us (cf. Jn 13:34). It is a love, however, that is not sterile sentimentality or something vague, it is recognizing God as the only Lord of life and, at the same time, accepting the other as a true brother, overcoming divisions, rivalry, misunderstandings, selfishness; the two things go together.”
Sedan kommer påven in på att kristna har en lång väg att gå när det gäller att förverkliga kärlekens lag, han konstaterar och kritiserar att det finns strider och split också bland kristna:
”We have still so far to go to be able to live concretely according to this new law, the law of the Holy Spirit working within us, the law of charity, of love! When we see in the many wars between Christians in the newspapers or on TV, how can the people of God understand this? Within the people of God there are so many wars! And in neighborhoods, in workplaces, so many wars due to envy, jealousy. Even within the same family, there are so many internal wars. We must ask the Lord to help us understand this law of love. How good, how nice it is to love each other as true brothers. How nice that is! Let’s do something today: perhaps we all have our likes and dislikes, and perhaps many of us are angry with others. But at least let’s say to the Lord: ”Lord, I am angry with him or with her. I pray for him and for her. I pray to you”. To pray for those with whom we are angry. It’s a big step in this law of love. Let’s do it today!”
Trots vår ofullkomlighet som kristna har vi som kyrka, Guds folk, ett uppdrag att vara salt och ljus i världen: Påven avslutar sitt tal med följande ord:
”Dear brothers and sisters, to be Church, is to be God’s people, according to the Father’s great plan of love, it means to be the yeast of God in this humanity of ours, it means to proclaim and to bring God’s salvation into this world, which is often lost, in need of encouraging answers, answers that give hope, that give new vigour in the journey. May the Church be a place of mercy and of hope in God, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel. And to feel welcomed, loved, forgiven, encouraged, the Church’s doors must be open, so that all may come and that we can go out of those doors and proclaim the Gospel. Thank so much.”