Pope Francis celebrates Morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae

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Pope's Morning Homily: For Too Many Christians, Holy Spirit Is a Stranger

At Casa Santa Marta, warns against reducing the 3rd Person of the Trinity to a ‘luxury prisoner’

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Pope Francis says it is the Holy Spirit that moves the Church but for many Christians today, the Holy Spirit is a stranger. Speaking on Monday morning during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta the Pope urged believers to allow themselves to be propelled by the Holy Spirit whom, he said, shows us the way to freedom. He also had a special greeting for the Vincentian Sisters of Charity who work at the Casa Santa Marta and who are marking the feast day of their founder: St. Louise de Marillac.
Drawing inspiration from the reading of the day which recounts the dialogue between Paul and the first disciples in Ephesus, Pope Francis recalled that the disciples told Paul that they had “not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit”.
This is something, he said, that happens today as well as many who believe in Jesus do not know the Holy Spirit. Many, he said, say they have “learnt through Catechism” that the Holy Spirit is “in the Trinity” but they do not know anything more and they wonder what the Spirit does:
«The Holy Spirit is the one who moves the Church, he said, the one who works in the Church and  in our hearts” making each Christian unique and yet, together with other Christians, a unit. The Holy Spirit, the Pope continued, opens the doors and invites us to bear witness to Jesus.
“At the beginning of Mass we heard the words: ‘you will receive the Holy Spirit and you will be my witnesses in the world’. The Holy Spirit is the one who moves us to praise God, to pray the Lord, the one who is within us and teaches us to see the Father and to call him ‘Father’. The Holy Spirit frees us from this ‘orphan-like’ condition which the spirit of the world wants to put us in” he said.
Pope Francis said the Holy Spirit is “the protagonist of the living Church” and he warned against the danger of not living up to this mission of the Holy Spirit thereby reducing faith to «morals  and ethics”.
It is not enough, he said, to just respect the Commandments and do “nothing more”. Christian life, Francis reiterated, “is not just an ethical life: it is an encounter with Jesus Christ.” And it is thanks to the Holy Spirit that this encounter takes place:
«But we keep the Holy Spirit as a ‘luxury prisoner’ in our hearts: we do not allow the Spirit to push us forward, to move us. The Sprit does everything, knows everything, reminds us what Jesus said, can explain all about Jesus. There is only one thing the Holy Spirit can’t do: make us ‘parlour’ Christians (…) The Holy Spirit cannot make us ‘virtual’ Christians who are not virtuous. The Holy Spirit makes real Christians. The Spirit takes life as it is and prophetically reads the signs of the times pushing us forward (…), the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity,” he said.
Pope Francis urged all faithful this week to reflect on the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives and to ask ourselves whether we have the courage to go out into the world bearing witness to Jesus.  And inviting us to prepare for the upcoming Feast of Pentecost, the Pope said we must think of the Holy Spirit who is within our hearts and ask for the grace of obedience and docility to the Spirit:
“This is what we must do this week: think of the Sprit and talk to Him”.
[This report is from Vatican Radio] Readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 297

Reading 1 ACTS 19:1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
They answered him,
“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
He said, “How were you baptized?”
They replied, “With the baptism of John.”
Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus.”
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.
He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 68:2-3AB, 4-5ACD, 6-7AB

R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia COL 3:1

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
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