During his General Audience yesterday in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict gave a brief insight into his reason for the sequence of catecheses he has been offering in his weekly addresses.

The Pope, who traveled to the Vatican for the audience from his summer home in Castelgandofo, reminded those gathered that over the past months he has been considering the lives of the Apostles during his audiences.  The Holy Father announced that he would continue to do so, “in a way, so to speak, to make the Church more personal.” 

The Pope has been working his way through the twelve “friends” of Jesus, demonstrating the foundational roles that each Apostle had for the Church.  The Pope has begun his sequence of teachings with Simon Peter, then Andrew, the brother of Peter, followed by James “the Greater,” John, and James “the Lesser,” considering the important impact of each on the Church, at large, as well as examining the more personal relationship we know each Apostle had with the Lord.
In yesterday’s audience, the Pope noted, he stopped to consider the question, “what kind of people were the Apostles?”  The Holy Father discussed, in general, what their role with the Lord was.

“In short, we could say that they were “friends” of Jesus,” Benedict said.  He called them so at the Last Supper, the Pope recalled, mentioning passages in scripture which says, “I no longer call you servants, but friends.” 

“They have been, and they are able to be, Apostles and witnesses of Christ because they are His friends, because they knew Him due to their friendship, because they were close (to Him).”