Dove of the Holy Spirit

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Pope: God's Gifts Blossom in Those Who Welcome Holy Spirit

In Pentecost Sunday Homily, Francis Says Spirit’s Ability to Guide, Renew Can Conquer Corruption, Sin

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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.”


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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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