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Jesus the Advocate

· At the General Audience Pope Francis asks the faithful to reflect on the figure of the Saviour as man's defender ·

And at the end of the meeting he remembers the victims of the earthquake in Iran and expresses solidarity to those who risk losing their job

“Jesus is our Advocate”. Pope Francis used this metaphor to  explain the role the Saviour took on as man's defence to the 80,000 faithful present in St Peter's Square this morning, Wednesday 17 April, for the General Audience. “When someone is summoned by the judge or has a case”, the Pope said, “the first thing he does is to call a lawyer to defend him. We have One who always defends us, who defends us from the devil's snares, who defends us from ourselves, from our sins”. And he asked them not to be afraid to turn to him, whether to ask for pardon and mercy or to ask to be defended, for “he is our Advocate; he always defends us! Don't forget this”.

Then speaking of the event of the Ascension, recounted by the Evangelist Luke, the Pope presented Jesus as “a roped guide, while climbing a mountain who, having reached the summit, pulls us up to him, and leads us to God”. In other words he shows us which way to go. “In Christ, true God and true man, our humanity was taken up to God; he opened the way” and intercedes for us. “This”, he specified, “is a first important point: Jesus is the one eternal High Priest who, with his Passion, passed through death and the tomb, was raised and ascended into Heaven; he is with God the Father, where he intercedes on our behalf for ever”.

And the Holy Father went on to explain, this is also true even when we do not see it. The Ascension, in fact, “does not show Jesus' absence, but tell us that he is alive in our midst in a new way; no longer in a specific place in the world as he was prior to the Ascension. He is now in the domain of God, present in every space and time, close to each one of us”. Hence the certainty that “in our life we are never alone; we have this Advocate who waits for us, who defends us”.

In greeting the groups present, the Pope had special words for the young people, reminding them that “it is impossible to understand a young person without enthusiasm!”. He then expressed solidarity to a group of workers from Sassari who are going through a difficult time, even though they were not present at the Audience because their flight was delayed. Lastly he prayed to God for the victims of the earthquake in Iran and Pakistan and expressed his closeness to those afflicted.

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St. Peter’s Square

Oct. 17, 2019

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