Celebration of Holy Mass on Pentecost Sunday Pope Francis invites Christians to sit in the school of the Holy Spirit, journeying together as a Church, open to the world.
By Linda Bordoni
Pentecost is the day that commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. It concludes the Easter Season and celebrates the beginning of the Church‘s mission in the world. Thus, Pope Francis’ homily at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica was an invitation to listen to the Holy Spirit who teaches us where to start, shows us the paths to take, revives the love of God in our hearts and guides us on our way. .
Inspired by the Gospel according to John (Jn 14:26) in which Jesus said to his disciples: “The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everythingand remind you everything I told you,” the Pope explained, “the Spirit makes us see everything in a new way, with the eyes of Jesus.”
In the great journey of life, the Spirit teaches us where to start, which paths to take and how to walk.
Where to start
The Spirit, said Pope Francis, points us to the starting point of spiritual life, reminding us that loving Jesus is not just a matter of fidelity and devotion.
“Without love as a basis, all else is in vain. And that love comes not so much from our abilities, but from his gift,” he said.
The Spirit of love pours love into our hearts, makes us feel loved and teaches us to love. He is the “engine” of our spiritual life.
The memory of God
Pope Francis went on to explain that the Spirit is the memory of godone who reminds us of everything Jesus said, constantly rekindling the love of God in our hearts.
Ne noted the experience of his presence “in the forgiveness of our sins, in times when we are filled with his peace, freedom and consolation”.
When our lives seem full of failures and disappointments, the Pope explained that the Holy Spirit reminds us that we are a son or daughter of God.
He is also the “Comforter,” the Holy Father continued, “who can transform the wounds that burn within you,” teaching us “not to remember all those people and situations that have hurt us, but to allow these memories to be purified in his presence.”
This is what he did with the apostles and their failures: “Left to themselves, they had no way out”, but the Spirit, he added, heals the memories by bringing top of the list what really matters: the memory of God. love, his loving gaze.
Which paths to take
Pope Francis explained that in addition to reminding us where to start, the Spirit teaches us which paths to take.
It refers to the second liturgical reading, where Saint Paul explains that those “led by the Spirit of God” (ROMs 8:14) “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”.
“The Spirit, at every crossroads in our lives, suggests the best path for us to follow. It is therefore important to be able to distinguish one’s voice from the voice of the evil spirit,” he said.
The pope went on to explain this concept by explaining that “the Holy Spirit will never tell you that on your journey everything is going well. No, he corrects you; he makes you mourn your sins; fight against your lies and deceptions, even when it takes hard work, inner struggle and sacrifice.
On the contrary, he continues, the evil spirit “urges you to always do what you think and pleases you. It makes you think you have the right to use your freedom as you see fit. Then, once you feel empty inside, he blames you and knocks you down.
The Holy Spirit is not an idealist
Noting the practicality of the action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope said: “He wants us to focus on the here and nowbecause the time and place where we find ourselves are themselves filled with grace.
“The Spirit leads us to love, here and now, not an ideal world or an ideal Church, but the real ones, as they are, seen in broad daylight, with transparency and simplicity,” he said. .
The Spirit teaches the Church how to walk
The third and final aspect that Pope Francis focused on is the fact that the Holy Spirit teaches the Church how to walk.
“The disciples hunkered down in the Cenacle; then the Spirit came down and brought them out. Without the Spirit, they were alone, alone, crowded together. With the Spirit, they were open to everyone,” he explained.
In every age, Pope Francis said, the Spirit overturns our preconceived ideas and opens us to its newness.
He constantly teaches the Church the vital importance of moving forward, moved to share the gospel.
The pope reiterated his call that the Church should not be “a safe sheepfold, but an open pasture where all can graze on the beauty of God.”
It is contrary to the worldly spirit which pushes us “to concentrate on our own problems and interests, on our need to appear relevant, on our relentless defense of the nation or the group to which we belong”, he said. declared.
“This is not the way of the Holy Spirit. He invites us to forget ourselves and to open our hearts to all. In this way, he rejuvenates the Church. We must remember this: the Spirit rejuvenates the Church,” he said.
And in this, the Pope continued, the Church cannot be “programmed” nor the efforts of “modernization”: “The Spirit frees us from the obsession with emergencies. He invites us to follow his paths, always old and always new, the paths of witness, of poverty and of mission, and thus he frees us from ourselves and sends us out into the world.