Holy Father Pope Francis while addressing the faithful gathered at Casa Santa Marta focused his reflections on the day’s gospel reading where the Apostle Paul, compelled by the Holy Spirit, takes his leave from the Church Elders at Ephesus to go to Jerusalem. Retracing the gospel account of how Paul summoned the presbyters of the Church at Ephesus to take his leave of them, His Holiness Pope Francis noted how the Apostle made an examination of his conscience, telling the Elders what he had done for the community and leaving them to judge his work.

As reported by Vatican Radio, Describing how Paul feels compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem, Holy Father Pope Francis remarked that “This experience by the bishop, the bishop who can discern the Spirit, who can discern when it is the Spirit of God speaking to him and who knows how to defend himself when spoken to by the spirit of the world.” Further, His Holiness added, “In some way, Paul knows that he is going towards trials, towards the cross and this recalls for us Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, doesn’t it?” The Apostle is obediently offering himself up to the Lord. That (expression) compelled by the Holy Spirit. The bishop who always goes forward but according to the Holy Spirit. This is Paul.”

His Holiness Pope Francis noted how Paul takes his leave amidst the pain of those present by giving them advice in a testament which is not a worldly testament about leaving belongings to this person or that person. Holy Father concluded his homily with a prayer: “I am thinking of all bishops. May the Lord grant all of us the grace to be able to take our leave and step down in this way (like Paul), with that spirit, with that strength, with that love for Jesus Christ and this faith in the Holy Spirit.”