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Theme of Pope’s general audience: ‘Life of faith’

September 29, 2021

Continuing his weekly Wednesday general audience series on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, Pope Francis spoke on September 29 about the life of faith.

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Previous addresses in the series were entitled “Introduction to the Letter to the Galatians“ (June 23), “Paul, the true apostle“ (June 30), “There is just one Gospel“ (August 4), “The Mosaic Law“ (August 11), “The propaedeutic value of the Law“ (August 18), “The dangers of the Law“ (August 25), “Foolish Galatians“ (September 1), and “We are Children of God“ (September 8). On September 15, Pope Francis was in Slovakia, and on September 22, he devoted his general audience to his apostolic journey to Hungary and Slovakia.

“In our continuing catechesis on the Letter to the Galatians, we now consider Saint Paul’s teaching on justification,” the Pope said, in the words of the official Vatican summary of his remarks. “For the Apostle, God in his mercy, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, has offered definitive forgiveness and salvation to sinners, thus reconciling us to himself.”

The summary continued:

Paul’s encounter with the risen Lord on the road to Damascus led him to understand that we are justified not by the observance of precepts and our own efforts, but by the grace of God through faith in Christ. While the law remains a holy gift of God (cf. Rom 7:12), and obedience to the commandments is essential to our spiritual life, the grace of God, freely bestowed in Christ, is primary.

The faith born of our experience of God’s saving love should transform every aspect of our lives and bear fruit in acts of charity; in this sense, Saint James can write that we are “justified by works, not by faith alone” (Jas 2:24). In the work of our justification, the priority belongs to the justice and mercy of God, who calls us to cooperate in his plan of salvation for all.

 


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