Pope Francis received participants of the pastoral convention of the diocese of Rome on Monday evening. As Bishop of Rome, the Holy Father meets annually with the leaders of pastoral, catechetical and outreach initiatives in the diocese.
Although, the meeting usually takes place at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, yesterday’s event took place at the Paul VI audience hall in Vatican City.
Pope Francis preferred to speak off the cuff to the participants. According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father spoke on several focal points with include “the transformative, revolutionary power of grace, especially baptismal grace and the need to renew faith formation in order to tap that power.” The points were meant to trace an overview of the pastoral focus of the diocese of Rome through the past year.
The Pope also reflected on the theme of spiritual discipline, patience and zeal for the Gospel, calling on the participants of the pastoral convention to “carry the Gospel into the suburbs and outskirts of the city, into the hearts of the hose who live without hope.”
“We must go out to reach the flesh of the Lord who suffers,” wherever and in whatever circumstances the suffering one happens to be,” the Pope said.
“Dear, dear brothers and sisters, let us be not afraid! Let us go forth to tell our brothers and our sisters that we are under grace, that Jesus gives us grace and that it costs us nothing: only [we must] receive it,” and concluding with one word of exhortation: Avanti! “Forward!”