Pentecost: the Holy Spirit delicately strengthens for the mission

Pentecost: the Holy Spirit delicately strengthens for the mission
Pentecost: the Holy Spirit delicately strengthens for the mission

On this Sunday, May 19, the solemnity of Pentecost, Pope Francis presided over the Eucharist in Saint Peter’s Basilica. In his homily the Pope placed at the center of his meditation the two areas of action of the Holy Spirit: delicacy and strength with a view to sending on mission.

Marie José Muando Buabualo – Vatican City

“With the Holy Spirit we can overcome, He gives us the strength to act because He enters our heart»: the Pope affirms this in his homily during the Pentecost Mass which he presided over on Sunday May 19 in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Referring to the liturgical texts of the day, Francis focused his homily on three points: strength, delicacy and sending on mission.

The Pope explained how “the same sturdy and calloused hand (of the Holy Spirit) who first plowed the clods of earth of the passions, then delicately, after having planted the seedlings of virtue, “waters” them, “cares for” them (cf. Sequence) and protects them with love, so that they grow and become stronger, and that we can taste, after the fatigue of the fight against evil, the sweetness of mercy and communion with God” through missionary works.

The strength and delicacy to defeat evil and build good

The action of the Spirit in us is strong, as symbolized by the signs of wind and fire, which are often associated with the power of God in the Bible (cf. Ex 19:16-19).” points out the Pope, relying on the importance of this power which allows us to overcome evil and the desires of the flesh such as impurity, idolatry, discord and envy of which Saint Paul speaks in the second reading. The Spirit, in fact, continues Francis, enters our hearts “arid, rigid and cold (cf. Veni Sancte Spiritus Sequence), ruining our relationships with others and dividing our communities.” Faced with the damage and suffering caused by these behaviors, Francis suggests recourse to the strength of the Holy Spirit to reject them so that our moments of struggle can be transformed into opportunities for growth, into beneficial crises to emerge better, stronger, and capable of loving with greater freedom. The work of the Paraclete in us is filled with the delicacy that the Pope notes in several extracts from the Sacred Scriptures. In the Acts of the Apostles, the wind and the fire neither destroy nor burn: one fills the house in which the disciples are and the other rests delicately, in the form of small flames, on each person’s head.

Announce the Gospel to everyone with the same strength and the same delicacy

After transformation through the delicate force of the Holy Spirit, growth and spiritual maturity leads towards the mission: “The Holy Spirit, who descended on them and became close… acts by transforming their hearts and instilling in them a “boldness” which pushes them to transmit to others their experience of Jesus and the hope which animates them”. Developing the second aspect of the work of the Holy Spirit, the Pope points out the universal character of the missionary impulse which arouses the desire and the capacity to announce the Gospel and to make oneself understood by people of languages ​​and of different cultures. “It is also important for us, who received the gift of the Spirit during Baptism and Confirmation, to announce the Gospel to all, going beyond ethnic and religious barriers, to accomplish a truly universal mission. with the same strength and the same delicacy.”

Called to proclaim the Gospel of peace and hope

However, the Pope warns not to confuse the strength of the Holy Spirit with the arrogance that leads to calculations and tricks. It invites us to rely on the energy of truth and fidelity in order to continue on the road of seeking peace, forgiveness, welcome and solidarity. Avoiding confusing freedom with superficial, opaque and empty individualism, Francis points out that the delicacy of the proclamation of the Gospel pushes towards a spirit of welcome, encouragement and fortification towards the improvement of the conditions of human life (Gaudium et spes, n. 38). He particularly insisted that we not forget to welcome “everyone”, “the good and the bad”.

Hence his wish that this hope may lead us to raise our eyes towards horizons of peace, fraternity, justice and solidarity, the only path to follow together and to make it practicable for others with a view to renewing our faith in presence of the Comforter and continue to pray: “Come, creative Spirit, enlighten our minds, fill our hearts with your grace, guide our steps, give our world your peace.»

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