Church movements are an important instrument for the New Evangelization
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The power of the Holy Spirit gives birth to "a new people made up of men and women of all races and cultures." said the pope during his noon message, today. "In the Spirit promised by Jesus, believers become His witnesses, sowers of hope, working to establish a world of mercy and peace". These are the words used by the pontiff to explain the meaning of today's feast of Pentecost to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for the recitation of the Regina Caeli prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Already yesterday afternoon, John Paul II had presided over the first Vespers of the Pentecost Solemnity. Members of the "Rinnovamento dello Spirito (Catholic Charismatic Renewal)" were those singled out with a special invitation to this prayer vigil. In his speech, the pope stressed the importance of charismatic movements within the Church. . "Tonight's celebration- said the pope- reminds me of the memorable encounter I had, six years ago, with Church movements and new groups under very similar circumstances. That was an extraordinary display of unity, richness and variety of charisms that the Holy Spirit keeps giving most generously to the Church. Tonight, I want to repeat forcefully what I had pointed out then: the charismatic movements and new communities within the Church are 'the answer from above,' given by the Holy Spirit,' as a reply to the need for a new evangelization which requires 'people with a mature Christian outlook' and ' Christian communities fully alive.'"
Below are reported the pope's words before the recitation of today's "Regina Caeli":
"Today, Solemnity of Pentecost, the Church rejoices as she recalls the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles gathered in the upper room. Fifty days after Easter, Jesus fulfilled the promised he had made to his disciples:i.e., they would have been baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5) and they would have been invested by power from on high (Lk 24:49), to enable them to proclaim the Gospel to all nations. Energized by the Spirit's fire, the Apostles left the upper room and began to speak of Christ, crucified and risen, to believers gathered in Jerusalem from all over the world. And each of them could understand the Apostles' message in their native tongue.
Pentecost marks the realization of God's plan, first revealed to Abraham, to create for Himself a new people. This refers to the birth of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ present all over the world. She is made up of men and women of every race and culture, united in faith and love of the Holy Trinity, to be a sign and an instrument of unity for all people. (Lumen Gentium,1)
Shaped by the Spirit into Christ, the new man, the believers become His witnesses, sowers of hope, called to work for a world of mercy and peace.
We now turn to Mary most holy. We behold her in the upper room as she receives the gift of the Holy Spirit with the Apostles and other disciples. Let us call with confidence upon her maternal intercession, so that the wonders of Pentecost may happen again in our Church, and all people may welcome the happy message of salvation."