At the Angelus, Pope Francis says there is always need in the Church for the "fire" of the Spirit who "makes us creative and encourages us to set out, to even walk on unexplored or inconvenient roads, offering hope to those we meet" . The invitation to "take five minutes and ask: How is my heart? Is it cold, warm or is able to receive this fire? ". Thanks to the "many priests and religious who, all over the world, are dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel with great love and loyalty, often even at the cost of life." The memory of St. Maximilian Kolbe.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "The Church does not need bureaucrats and diligent officials, but passionate missionaries, devoured by the ardor to bring the consoling words of Jesus and his regenerating grace to all" said Pope Francis - enunciating every word - before the Angelus recited with the pilgrims in St Peter's Square today.
The pontiff had just expressed his "admiration" for "many priests and religious who, all over the world, are dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel with great love and loyalty, often even at the cost of life." This "ardor" is similar to the "fire" of which Jesus speaks in today's Gospel (Lk 12.49 to 53).
"The fire of which Jesus speaks is the fire of the Holy Spirit, the living and and active presence within us from the day of our Baptism. It is a creative force that purifies and renews, it burns all human misery, all selfishness, all sin, transforms us from within, regenerates and makes us capable of loving. Jesus desires that the Holy Spirit may blaze like fire in our hearts, because it is only from the heart that the fire of divine love will flourish and advance the Kingdom of God. If we open ourselves totally to the Holy Spirit, He will gift us the audacity and fervor to proclaim to all Jesus and his consoling message of mercy and salvation, on the open seas".
"In carrying out its mission in the world, the Church needs the help of the Holy Spirit to avoid being deterred by fear and calculation, to avoid becoming used to walking within secure borders. The apostolic courage that the Holy Spirit kindles in us, like a fire, helps us to overcome walls and barriers, makes us creative and encourages us to put ourselves in motion to even walk on unexplored or inconvenient roads, offering hope to those we meet. We are called to become more and more communities of people led and transformed by the Holy Spirit, full of understanding, with a welcoming heart and joyful face. More than ever we need priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful, with the attentive gaze of the Apostle, to be moved and to stand before hardships and poverty, material and spiritual, thus characterizing the process of evangelization and mission the healing rhythm of closeness. It is precisely the fire of the Holy Spirit that leads us to become neighbors to those who suffer. "
Breaking away from the prepared text, he added: "If the Church does not have this fire, it becomes cold or lukewarm, unable to bear life. It would do us good now to take five minutes and ask: How is my heart? Is it cold, is it lukewarm or is able to receive this fire? ".
"Let us ask the Virgin Mary - he concluded - to pray with us and for us, that Our Heavenly Father,pour out upon all believers the Holy Spirit, the divine fire that warms hearts and helps us to be in solidarity with the joys and sufferings of our brothers. May the example of St. Maximilian Kolbe, martyr of charity, whose memorial is today support us in our journey: May he teach us to live the fire of love for God and neighbor".