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» 06/08/2014
VATICAN
Pope: Pentecost gave birth to a Church that “surprises and unsettles”
At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says a Church without surprises is a “weak, sick, Church that needs to be hospitalized and in the intensive care unit”. "The Church of Pentecost is a Church that can never settle with being innocuous and decorative ... Even if this message brings us problems and often leads to martyrdom." "Thanks” for the prayers ahead of the invocation for peace to be held later this evening at the Vatican, together with the Patriarch of Constantinople, Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - At Pentecost, with "the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room" a Church that "surprises and unsettles" was born; a Church which "no one expected to hear anymore of" and that "announces a new message"; a Church that is not a paralyzed by "fear" that "will not settle with being merely innocuous or decorative"; a Church "that does not hesitate to come out, meet the people, to proclaim the message that it has been entrusted." "A Church that does not have the ability to surprise, is a weak, sick Church, that needs to be hospitalized in an intensive care unit". These are some features of the Church traced by Pope Francis today before praying the Regina Caeli.

Speaking of today's feast, Pentecost, to pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square, he explained Pentecost's element of "surprise": "No one expected anything from the disciples: after Jesus' death it was an insignificant, defeated group, orphaned of their Master. Instead there is an unexpected event that arouses wonder: people were unsettled because each heard the disciples speak in their own language, telling the mighty works of God (cf. Acts 2,6-7.11.) The Church that was born in Pentecost is a community that inspires awe because, with the strength that comes from God, it announces a new message - the Resurrection of Christ - with a new language - universal love. The disciples are clothed with power from on high and speak with courage and frankness, with the freedom of the Holy Spirit".

"This - he added - is how the Church is called to always be: capable of surprising  everyone by announcing that Jesus Christ has conquered death, that God's arms are always open, that His patience is always there waiting for us, to heal and forgive . It was precisely for this mission that the Risen Jesus gave His Spirit to the Church. "

And moving from his texted script he added a phrase greeted by much applause: "But be careful: if the Church is alive, it is always surprising. A Church that does not have the ability to surprise, is a weak, sick Church, that must be hospitalized in intensive care".

Explaining how the Church should "unsettle" he said, "Some in Jerusalem, would have preferred the disciples of Jesus, paralyzed by fear, to remain locked in the house so as not to create confusion." "Even today - he added - many would like this from Christians."

 "Instead - he continued - the Risen Lord leads them into the world:" As the Father has sent me, so I send you "(Jn 20:21). The Church of Pentecost is a Church that will not settle for being reduced to an innocuous, decorative thing.  It is a Church that does not hesitate to come out, meet the people, to proclaim the message that it has been entrusted, even if that message unsettles and worries consciences. Even if that message brings us problems and often leads to martyrdom".

"The Church is born one and universal, with a distinct, but open identity, a Church that embraces the world but not capture it, like as the colonnade of this square, two arms open to receive, but which do not close in on themselves to keep [people] in". And he stressed: "We Christians are free and the Church wants us free."

The Pope then invoked the Virgin Mary, "who the morning of Pentecost was in the Upper Room with the disciples. The power of the Holy Spirit really accomplished "great things" in her(Lk 1:49). Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Church, through her intercession May she obtain for us a renewed outpouring of the Spirit of God, on the Church and the world".

After the Marian prayer of the Easter season - tomorrow we return to the Angelus - Francis recalled that this evening at 7pm, the presidents of Israel and Palestine will join him and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, "my brother Bartholomew," " to ask God for the gift of peace in the Holy Land, the Middle East and throughout the world. " While making the announcement, some young people in the square waved dozens of Palestinian flags.

"I want to thank - said the Pope - all those who, personally and in the community, who have prayed and are praying for this meeting, and who will be joined spiritually to our supplication. Thank you".

 


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See also
05/23/2010 VATICAN
Pope: There is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary. Prayer for China
05/24/2009 VATICAN
From the land of St Benedict my thoughts go to the people of China and it’s Catholics, says Pope
05/11/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Pentecost, the Church of multiple languages and cultures, sacrament of peace
05/30/2004 vatican
The Holy Spirit makes us witnesses of hope and peace, says Pope
05/21/2006 VATICAN
Pope: Social communications help us free children from hunger

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pp. 176
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