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Pope Francis arrives at the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican yesterday for his weekly general audience (CNS/Lola Gomez)

Pope Francis concluded his yearlong series of talks about zeal for evangelisation yesterday, urging Christians to “be open” to the Word of God. Source: NCR Online.

“‘Be open,’ Jesus says to every believer and to his Church: be open because the Gospel message needs you to witness to it and proclaim it,” he said during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall yesterday.

The Pope also appealed for an immediate ceasefire and a resumption of negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

“I continue to follow the conflict in Israel and Palestine with much concern and sorrow,” he said. “I renew my call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire: there is so much suffering there.”

Francis encouraged all parties to resume negotiations, “and I ask everyone to make an urgent commitment to get humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza who are on their last legs and really need it.”

The Pope also called for the immediate liberation of all the hostages, “who had seen hope in the truce a few days ago, so that this great suffering for Israelis and Palestinians might come to an end.”

“Please,” he said, “no to weapons, yes to peace.”

In his main audience talk, he said every Christian is called to allow “the Word of God to inspire us, to help cultivate the passion to proclaim the Gospel.”

“Christians who are closed always turn out badly because they are not Christians,” the Pope said, “they are ideologues” with an ideology of being closed in on themselves.


Christians must be open to listening to God, helping others, Pope says (By Carol Glatz, CNS via NCR Online)