05/31/2020, 14.53
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Pope: Pentecost, a community reconciled and ready for the mission; a prayer for the Amazon and healthcare workers

For the first time since the start of the pandemic crisis, Pope Francis recited the Regina Caeli from his study window. Several hundred people were present in the square. The Spirit is the "fire that burns sins,” that pushes the disciples to "set fire" to the world with the love that “favours the little ones, the poor, the excluded". The pandemic in the Amazon has led to infections and deaths “among Indigenous peoples, who are particularly vulnerable". A silent prayer is offered with "gratitude and admiration" for those who have treated the sick and have given their lives during the pandemic. [W]e cannot come out the same from a crisis like this. We come out either better or worse. We need to be better, to positively build the post-pandemic crisis.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis explained the meaning of Pentecost, citing the Gospel of today’s Mass (Jn 20:19-23) before the Regina Caeli. For him, this was the first time to lead the Pascal Marian prayer from the window of his study in the apostolic palace. A few hundred of people were present in the square, all at a safe distance.

In his address, the Holy Father said that “by forgiving and gathering the disciples around him, Jesus made them his Church, a community reconciled and ready for the mission.”

“The meeting with the risen Lord,” he added, “turned the Apostles’ existence upside down and transformed them into courageous witnesses . . . ‘I am sending you;’ this is not the time to be locked up, nor regret the 'good times' spent with the Master. The joy of the resurrection is great, but it is an expansive joy, which should not be kept for oneself, but should be given” to others.

“In order to spur the mission, Jesus gave his Apostles his Spirit: ‘he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit”’ (Jn, 20:22). The Holy Spirit is like a fire that burns sins and creates new men and women; it is a fire of love with which the disciples will be able to 'ignite' the world, the love of tenderness that favours the little ones, the poor, the excluded. . . The feast of Pentecost renews the awareness that the life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit dwells in us. It also gives us the courage to come out of the protective walls of our 'cenacles', and not fall back onto a quiet life or locking ourselves in sterile habits.”

After the Marian prayer, Francis called on the Holy Spirit "to bring light and strength to the Church and society in the Amazon, [which has been] severely tried by the pandemic.”

“Many people have also been infected and died among Indigenous nations, who are particularly vulnerable. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Amazon, I pray for the poorest and most defenceless of that dear region, as well as for those around the world. I beseech that no one be denied healthcare, that people be treated, that spending not be kept back for [the sake of] the economy. We people are temples of the Holy Spirit, the economy is not.”

For Italy’s National Relief Day, which is celebrated today to promote solidarity towards the sick, Francis dedicated a silent prayer, which he urged everyone to hold "for doctors, nurses, and all those involved" in helping coronavirus patients even at risk of life. “I renew my appreciation for those who, especially in this period, have offered and are offering their testimony of care for others. I remember with gratitude and admiration that by supporting the sick in this pandemic they gave their life.”

The pontiff ended inviting the faithful to meet again in the square next week. He noted that the Church and the world need the Spirit. “The Church needs it to walk in harmony and with courage, bearing witness to the Gospel. The human family as a whole also needs it, in order to come out of this crisis more united and no longer divided. You know that we cannot come out the same from a crisis like this. We come out either better or worse. We need to be better, to positively build after the pandemic crisis.”

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