Below is a translation of Pope Francis’ address before and after the recitation of the Regina Caeli this Pentecost Sunday in St. Peter’s Square:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today, we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, which brings to completion the Easter season, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ. The liturgy invites us to open our minds and our hearts to the gift of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised several times to His disciples, that He has obtained with His Resurrection. Jesus Himself implored the Father for this, as attested to in today’s Gospel, which takes place at the Last Supper. Jesus tells His disciples: ““If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always.” (Jn 14: 15-16).
These words remind us first of all that love for a person, and also for the Lord, one proves not with words, but with deeds; and also “keep the commandments” must be understood in an existential sense, so that all one’s life is involved. In fact, to be a Christian does not primarily mean to belong to a certain culture or adhere to a certain doctrine, but rather to join one’s own life, in all its aspects, to the person of Jesus and, through Him, to the Father. To this end, Jesus promises the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to His disciples. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, the Love that unites the Father and the Son and proceeds from them, we can all live the same life of Jesus. The Spirit, in fact, teaches us all things, or rather that the only thing necessary is: to love as God loves.
In promising the Holy Spirit, Jesus defines him as “another Advocate” (v. 16), which means Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, that is, one who assists us, protects us, is on our side on the journey of life and in the struggle for good and against evil. Jesus says “another Advocate” because the first is He, He Himself, who was made flesh precisely to take upon Himself our human condition and free it from the slavery of sin.
Moreover, the Holy Spirit exercises a function of teaching and memory. Teaching and memory. There Jesus said: “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (v. 26). The Holy Spirit does not bring a different teaching, but makes live, makes operating, the teaching of Jesus, so that the passing of time does not erase or fade it. The Holy Spirit implants this teaching in our heart, helps us to internalize it, making it part of us, flesh of our flesh. At the same time, the Spirit prepares our hearts so it is really able to receive the words and examples of the Lord. Every time that the word of Jesus is greeted with joy in our hearts, this is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Let us now pray together the Regina Caeli – for the last time this year -, invoking the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary. May she obtain for us the grace to be strongly animated by the Holy Spirit, to bear witness to Christ with evangelical candor and to open ourselves ever more to the fullness of His love.[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]
After the Regina Caeli:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today, in the very appropriate context of Pentecost, my message for World Mission Day, which is celebrated every year in October, is published. May the Holy Spirit give strength to all the missionaries ad gentes and support the mission of the Church throughout the world. And may the Holy Spirit give this strength also to the young people – boys and girls -, who want to go preach the Gospel. Let’s ask this, today, to the Holy Spirit.
I greet all you families, church groups, associations, pilgrims from Italy and from many parts of the world, especially from Madrid, Prague and Thailand; as well as members of the Korean Catholic Community of London.
I greet the faithful of Casalbuttano, Cortona, Terni, Ragusa; the boys of Massa Romagnano; and “Sacra Corale Jonica” of the Province of Taranto.
I greet in a special way all those involved today in the day of the “Festival of Nations,” on its 25th anniversary, in the square of St. John Lateran. May this feast, a sign of unity and diversity of cultures, help us understand that the road to peace is this: create unity, respecting diversity.
A special thought goes to the Alpini, meeting in Asti for its national gathering. I urge them to be witnesses of mercy and hope, following the example of Blessed Don Carlo Gnocchi, of Blessed Brother Luigi Bordino and venerable Teresio Sallowthorns, who honored the Corps of Alpini through the holiness of their lives.
And I wish everyone a happy feast of Pentecost. Please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye![Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]