Holy Spirit makes Church always new, Pope says at Pentecost Mass
May 20, 2013
“God always brings newness—and demands our complete trust,” Pope Francis said in his homily at a Pentecost Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
More than 200,000 people attended the morning Mass, which concluded a pilgrimage organized for ecclesial movements as part of the Year of Faith. In his homily the Pontiff spoke particularly of new movements and new developments in the Church, as manifestations of the working of the Holy Spirit.
“Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control,” the Holy Father remarked. “It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives.” However, the newness that comes from the Holy Spirit brings true happiness, “because God loves us and desires only our good.”
“Are we open to God’s surprises?” the Pope asked the congregation. “Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit?” He suggested that the faithful should ask themselves these questions every day.
Turning to the effects that the “newness” brought by the Holy Spirit can have upon the Church, the Pope said:
The Holy Spirit would appear to create disorder in the Church, since he brings the diversity of charisms and gifts; yet all this, by his working, is a great source of wealth, for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which does not mean uniformity, but which leads everything back to harmony…Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality, and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity.
For those involved in new movements, the Pope continued, it is essential to maintain a strong sense of the Church. “It is the Church which brings Christ to me, and me to Christ; parallel journeys are very dangerous!” he warned. Those who move outside the community of the Church are breaking their ties to the source of grace, he said.
Finally, the Pope said, the Holy Spirit is the source of inspiration for effective evangelization. “It is the Paraclete, the 'Comforter', who grants us the courage to take to the streets of the world, bringing the Gospel!”
During his midday audience after the morning Mass, the Pope remarked that the Eucharistic celebration had renewed the experience of the Church at the first Pentecost, and had "transformed St. Peter's Square into an "upper room" under the heavens."
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