Pope on Pentecost: Let us invoke the Spirit daily upon our whole world
By Thaddeus Jones
At the Mass on this Solemnity of Pentecost celebrated in Saint Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis in his homily highlighted how the Holy Spirit acts in the world he created, in the Church, and in our hearts, bringing order and harmony in all spheres.
Holy Spirit brings harmony, peace
In bringing harmony to the world, the Spirit “directs the course of time and renews the face of the earth," the Pope explained. And our world today, marked by discord and divisions, desperately needs this harmony it is resisting, he lamented, noting how while we may be more "connected," we are in reality more cut off from one another "anaesthetized by indifference." He pointed out how the many wars and conflicts we witness today show the magnitude of evil individuals are capable of committing, hostilities fueled by the spirit of division, the devil, meaning "divider."
But to counter this evil of discord, the Pope recounted how the Lord at the culmination of salvation poured out his good Spirit to give us the harmony we need for true peace. The Holy Spirit brings harmony, as "the Spirit of unity, the bringer of peace", he emphasised.
Harmony out of diversity
Looking at how the Holy Spirit works in the Church, starting from the day of Pentecost, the Pope described how the Spirit descended upon each apostle giving each one special graces and unique charisms. And while one might think these differing gifts might create confusion, in reality, as in the created world, " the Holy Spirit loves to create harmony out of diversity."
Recalling how at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended in tongues of fire allowing each apostle to speak in other languages with others able to hear and understand them, the Pope explained how the Spirit uses many languages and does not eliminate differences or cultures "but harmonizes everything without reducing them to bland uniformity."
Recalling the synodal journey underway in the Church, the Pope said this path should mark "a journey in accordance with the Spirit," and above all an "opportunity to be docile to the breath of the Spirit" as he is "the heart of synodality, the driving force of evangelization."
The Pope added that the synodal process offers the People of God a unique opportunity to journey together, filled with the Spirit, to build harmony in the Church and be renewed.
Harmony in our hearts
In conclusion, the Pope explained how the Spirit "restores harmony in the heart" as he creates "intimacy with God." The Lord bestowed the Spirit "to forgive sins, to reconcile minds and to harmonize hearts wounded by evil, broken by hurts, led astray by feelings of guilt."
The Pope then said it would be good to examine our own lives and ask if we are open to the harmony of the Spirit, or if we resist being transformed by him sticking to our own pursuits and ideas. Are we quick to judge others, overlooking our own weaknesses, he asked, and do we try to foster reconciliation and build communion? To overcome our own divisions, he said, "Let us invoke the Spirit," praying that "Holy Spirit, Spirit of Jesus and of the Father, inexhaustible wellspring of harmony, to You we entrust the world; to You, we consecrate the Church and our hearts."
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