Pope Francis on June 8, 2019, reminded the faithful that “It is “the river of living water” of the Holy Spirit that springs from the womb of Jesus, from his side pierced by the spear (see Jn 19:36), and which washes and fertilizes the Church, mystical bride represented by Mary, new Eve, at the foot of the cross.”
His remarks came in his homily at Mass on the eve of Pentecost in St. Peter’s Square, the even of the final day of Easter.
Pope Francis said that the Holy Spirit “springs from the womb of mercy of the Risen Jesus, fills our womb with a ‘good measure, pressed, full and overflowing’ with mercy (see Lk 6:38) and transforms us into a Church-womb of mercy, that is, in a ‘Mother with an open heart’ for everyone!
“How I wish that the people who live in Rome would recognize the Church, recognize us for this more than mercy, for this more than humanity and tenderness, of which there is so much need!”
Francis recalled that 75 years ago, on June 11, 1944, Pope Pius XII offered an act of thanks and supplication to the Virgin, for the protection of the city of Rome. Despite the violence of World War II, Rome’s great historical sites had been spared. The Vatican and its great art and history remained intact.
“He did it in the church of Sant ‘Ignazio, where the venerated image of the Madonna of the Divine Love had been taken.,” Francis recalled. “Divine Love is the Holy Spirit, which springs from the Heart of Christ.”
The Pope went on to lament that humans tend to become focused on “human project.” He warned that we do much that is in the service of “I”.
“But the Spirit of Christ, Lord of history, is looking forward to throwing everything up, to make us start over!” Francis predicted. “Left to ourselves we end up losing the horizon; we come to convince ourselves that we have understood everything, to have taken all the variables into consideration, to have foreseen what will happen and how it will happen … They are all our constructions that delude themselves into touching the sky. Instead, the Spirit breaks into the world from above, from the womb of God, there where the Son was born and makes all things new.”
The Holy Father reminded the congregation — a huge gathering in the square — that there were there to celebrate the “primacy of the Spirit…this arrival to the promised land, the city-Jerusalem with the doors always open for everyone, where the various languages of man are composed in the harmony of the Spirit.”
He suggested that when we hear the cry of those in need it is “nothing but a genuine groan of the Holy Spirit. And he said we must take that groan to heart.
“Dear friends, to listen to the cry of the city of Rome, we too need the Lord to take us by the hand and make us ‘go down’ among the brothers who live in our city, to hear their need for salvation, the cry that comes to Him and that we usually do not hear,” Francis stressed. “It is about opening eyes and ears, but above all the heart, listening with the heart. Then we will really get going. Then we will feel within us the fire of Pentecost, which drives us to cry out to the men and women of this city that their slavery is over and that it is Christ the way that leads to the city of Heaven. Amen!”