The Vatican

Pope Francis on Pentecost: "The world needs the courage, hope and faith of Christ's disciples".

After the Mass of the Solemnity of Pentecost in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis reflected on the action of the Holy Spirit on Christians today during the recitation of the Regina Coeli.

David Fernández Alonso-May 23, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes
pope at pentecost

Photo: ©2021 Catholic News Service / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

After celebrating Mass on the Solemnity of Pentecost, Pope Francis went to the window of the Apostolic Palace to pray the Regina Coeli prayer with the faithful in St. Peter's Square. He began his words by commenting on what is narrated in the first reading of the Mass, in the book of the Acts of the Apostles (cf. 2:1-11), which recounts what happened in Jerusalem fifty days after the Passover of Jesus. "The disciples were gathered in the upper room, and with them was the Virgin Mary. The risen Lord had told them to stay in the city until they received the gift of the Spirit from on high. And this was manifested by a "noise" that suddenly came from heaven, like a "rushing wind" that filled the house where they were (cf. v. 2). It is thus a real experience, but also a symbolic one".

"It reveals," says the Pope, "that the Holy Spirit is like a strong and free wind. It cannot be controlled, stopped or measured; nor can its direction be predicted. It does not allow itself to be framed by our human demands, our schemes and our prejudices. The Spirit proceeds from God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ and breaks into the Church - into each one of us - giving life to our minds and hearts. As the Creed says: "Lord and giver of life"".

"On the day of Pentecost, Jesus' disciples were still bewildered and frightened. They did not yet have the courage to come out into the light. We too, at times, prefer to remain within the protective walls of our surroundings. But the Lord knows how to reach out to us and open the doors of our heart. He sends the Holy Spirit upon us who envelops us and defeats all our hesitations, breaks down our defenses, dismantles our false certainties. The Spirit makes us new creatures, as he did that day with the Apostles".

"After receiving the Holy Spirit," the Pope affirmed, "they no longer went back to being as they were before, but went out and began to preach that Jesus is risen, that he is the Lord, in such a way that each one understood them in his own language. The Spirit changes the heart, widens the eyes of the disciples. He makes them capable of communicating to all the great works of God, without limits, going beyond the cultural and religious confines in which they were accustomed to think and live. He enables them to reach out to others, respecting their possibilities of listening and understanding, in the culture and language of each one (vv. 5-11). In other words, the Holy Spirit brings different people into communication, bringing about the unity and universality of the Church".

Francis concluded by suggesting that "today too, let us open our hearts to the gift of the Spirit, who makes us feel all the beauty and truth of the love of God in Christ, who died and rose from the dead. And he urges us to go out, to bear witness to this Love that always precedes us with his mercy. The world needs the courage, the hope, the faith of Christ's disciples. It needs us to become leaven, yeast, salt and light in the different situations and in the multiple cultural and social contexts. And all this can only be created by the Holy Spirit. Today let us ask the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, to intercede so that the Holy Spirit may descend in abundance and fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in everyone the fire of his love".

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