From Asia News Italy:
Benedict XVI today announced a new cycle of catechesis to 25,000 people
gathered for the general audience, since he has completed his depiction of the
12 apostles. Starting with Paul of Tarsus, he will now tackle “men and even women who dedicated their lives to the Gospel and to the Lord”.
After Jesus, recalled the pope, Paul “is the person from the beginning about who we are most informed”, both from the Acts of the Apostles as well as his letters that allow us to get to know him “without intermediaries”. “A diaspora Jew, Paul lived in
the city of Tarsus between Anatolia and Syria”, a persecutor of Christians until
struck by the light of Christ. Described by Chrysostom as “superior to angels
and archangels” and by Dante as “vase of election”, which means, the pope explained, “an instrument chosen by God”, Paul knew the first disciples of
Christ, “who put not a religion but the person of Jesus at the centre, and to
him was linked the remission of sins”. But his “enlightenment and true vocation
came when he encountered the Risen Lord”. For this reason, Paul “describes himself explicitly as an apostle by vocation or an apostle by the will of God”.
Benedict XVI said: “From that moment, he dispensed all his energies for Jesus
Christ and for his Gospel”. From here is drawn the foremost teaching of Paul,
that “what counts is putting Jesus Christ at the centre of our lives, and that
in the light of Christianity, every other value is found or even, if necessary,
purified from possible impure matter.”