The gift of the Holy Spirit renews the earth. Pope Francis made this statement during Mass for Pentecost Sunday this morning in St. Peter’s Basilica:
In his homily, the Holy Father reminded the faithful that the Holy Spirit guides and renews and exhorted them to see how it can transform not only their own lives, but all the world.
Reflecting on when Jesus breathed his Spirit on the Apostles, Francis noted that their minds and hearts were immediately filled, enabling them to live out their mission in the Church, rather than remaining in the Upper Room afraid and paralyzed.
“The world needs men and women who are not closed in on themselves, but filled with the Holy Spirit. Closing oneself off from the Holy Spirit means not only a lack of freedom; it is a sin,” he said.
The Argentine Pontiff went on to explain how there are many ways one can close oneself off to the Holy Spirit: “by selfishness for one’s own gain; by rigid legalism – seen in the attitude of the doctors of the law to whom Jesus referred as ‘hypocrites’; by neglect of what Jesus taught; by living the Christian life not as service to others but in the pursuit of personal interests; and in so many other ways.”
What the world needs, the Pontiff stressed, is the courage, hope, faith and perseverance of Christ’s followers and the fruits of the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22).
“The gift of the Holy Spirit has been bestowed upon the Church and upon each one of us,” Pope Francis rejoiced, “so that we may live lives of genuine faith and active charity, that we may sow the seeds of reconciliation and peace.”
“Strengthened by the Spirit and his many gifts,” Francis prayed, “may we be able uncompromisingly to battle against sin and corruption, devoting ourselves with patient perseverance to the works of justice and peace.”
“The word of God, especially in today’s readings,” the Pope underscored, “tells us that the Spirit is at work in individuals and communities filled with the Spirit: he guides us into all the truth, he renews the face of the earth, and he gives us his fruits.”
In the Letter to the Galatians, Francis pointed out, Saint Paul wants to show the “fruits” manifested in the lives of those who walk in the way of the Spirit. “On one hand, he presents ‘the flesh’, with its list of attendant vices: the works of selfish people closed to God,” the Pope said. “On the other hand, there are those who by faith allow the Spirit of God to break into their lives.”
In those who welcome the Spirit, Francis said, “God’s gifts blossom.”
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-pentecost-homily–2