Pontiff: No Soloists in Evangelizing

Highlights Paul's Collaborators in Building the Church

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 31, 2007 (Zenit.org).- St. Paul didn't evangelize alone, but acted as a member of the Body of Christ, Benedict XVI says.



The Pope explained this at today's general audience in Paul VI Hall where some 6,000 people gathered to hear a reflection dedicated to three of St. Paul's collaborators: Barnabas, Silas and Apollos.

Highlighting the support the three men gave the Apostle, the Holy Father said: "Paul does not act as a 'soloist,' as an isolated individual, but together with these collaborators in the 'we' of the Church."

For Paul, there is no "I" but a "we" of the Church, the "we" of the apostolic faith, Benedict XVI explained.

"Each one has a different task in the field of the Lord," the Pontiff said, quoting 1 Corinthians 3:6-9: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave growth ... for we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building."

The Pope explained that Paul's collaborators "found the meaning of life" in their evangelizing mission "and thus they are presented to us as luminous models of selflessness and generosity."

"This is valid for us also today, for the Pope, as well as the cardinals, bishops, priests and laity," Benedict XVI added. "We are all humble ministers of Jesus. We serve the Gospel in the measure that we can, according to our gifts, and we ask God to make his Gospel, his Church grow today."