Pope at Regina Coeli: The Holy Spirit is a specialist in bridging distances
By Linda Bordoni
On the Solemnity of Pentecost, Pope Francis told the faithful, we celebrate the effusion of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, which took place fifty days after Easter.
Speaking after the celebration of Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and before praying the Regina Coeli from the balcony overlooking the Square, the Pope explained that in today’s Liturgy Jesus tells the disciples: “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (Jn 14: 26).
This, the Pope said, is what the Spirit does: he teaches and reminds us of what Christ said.
Let us reflect on these two actions, to teach and to remind, because it is in this way that he makes the Gospel of Jesus enter into our hearts.
The Holy Spirit teaches
By teaching, the Pope continued, the Spirit In helps us to overcome an obstacle that presents itself to us in the experience of faith: that of distance.
Indeed, he continued, it is plausible that a doubt may arise “that between the Gospel and everyday life there is a great distance: Jesus lived two thousand years ago, they were other times, other situations, and therefore the Gospel seems to be outdated, unable to speak to our current moment, with its demands and its problems.”
A specialist in bridging distances
“The Holy Spirit,” Pope Francis said, “is a specialist in bridging distances, teaching us how to overcome them.”
It is he, the Holy Father explained, who connects Jesus’ teaching “with every time and every person.”
It is the Spirit, the Pope said, who makes them alive for us, noting that through Scripture he speaks to us and directs us in the present.
“He does not fear the passing of the centuries; rather, He makes believers attentive to the problems and events of their time. For when the Spirit teaches, he actualizes: he keeps faith ever young,” he said.
While we risk “making faith a museum piece,” the Pope said, the Spirit “brings it up to date.”
The Holy Spirit makes us remember
In order to do this, the Pope continued, the Spirit makes us remember and restores the Gospel to our hearts.
Just as for the Apostles who had listened to Jesus many times, yet had understood little, “from Pentecost forth, with the Holy Spirit, they remember and they understand.”
“They welcome his words as made specially for them, and they pass from an outward knowledge to a living, convinced, joyful relationship with the Lord. It is the Spirit who does this,” he said.
Pope Francis concluded inviting Christians to heed the Holy Spirit, because “without the Spirit reminding us of Jesus, faith becomes forgetful.”
Let us ask ourselves whether we are those Christians who forget Jesus’ love and fall into doubt and fear whenever there is a setback, a struggle, a crisis.
“The remedy is to invoke the Holy Spirit,” the Pope concluded, “especially in important moments, before difficult decisions.”
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