05/19/2024, 14.57
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Pope, Pentecost: ‘May the Spirit lead to doors opening to peace’

During the Mass in St. Peter's, the pontiff spoke of the Holy Spirit's characteristics of ‘strength’ and ‘kindness’. The invitation ‘to proclaim the Gospel to all’. ‘Let us continue to speak of peace to those who want war, to speak of forgiveness to those who sow revenge,’ he added. After the recitation of the Regina Caeli: may the Holy Spirit ‘give rulers the courage to make gestures of dialogue’.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - ‘From the cenacle of this Basilica, like the Apostles, we are sent, today especially, to proclaim the Gospel to all’. This is the invitation that today, Pentecost Sunday, during the homily of the 10am Mass Pope Francis addressed to the numerous faithful gathered in St Peter's. An announcement that is sustained by the ‘strength’ and ‘kindness’ of the Holy Spirit. Strength, not overbearance and impositions - ‘the Christian is not overbearing’, the Pontiff said - but ‘energy that comes from fidelity to the truth’. ‘We surrender to the Spirit, we do not surrender to the force of the world,’ the Holy Father added.

‘We continue to speak of peace to those who want war, to speak of forgiveness to those who sow revenge, of welcome and solidarity to those who bar the door and erect barriers,’ Bergoglio said. ‘To speak of life to those who choose death, of respect to those who love to humiliate, insult and discard, to speak of fidelity to those who refuse every bond, confusing freedom with a superficial, opaque and empty individualism’. These words were shared after delving into the two characteristics of the Holy Spirit - strength and gentleness - that emerge from the Pentecost account, taken from the Acts of the Apostles. Strength is demonstrated by the signs ‘of wind and fire, which are often associated with the power of God in the Bible. The Spirit with its power has the ability to enter into the ‘dry, stiff and icy’ heart of each person and heal ‘everything’. 

At the same time, wind and fire ‘do not destroy or incinerate what they touch: the one fills the house where the disciples are, and the fire rests gently, in the form of little flames, on the head of each one’. This kindness, even gentleness, is ‘a trait of God's action’, which is also often found in the Scriptures. ‘We can taste, after the fatigue of fighting against evil, the sweetness of mercy and communion with God,’ said Pope Francis. ‘That is how the Spirit is: strong. It gives us the strength to overcome. It is also gentle’. It is the Holy Spirit who makes Peter and John say before the Sanhedrin: ‘We cannot keep silent about what we have seen and heard’ (Acts 4:20). 

The gentleness infused by the Holy Spirit urges the acceptance of all people. ‘Everyone, everyone,’ the Pontiff repeated. ‘Good and bad. This action must be accompanied by hope, ‘which is not optimism,’ he explained. ‘It is like that anchor, there at the shore, and we with the rope. The great need for hope is the need to ‘lift our eyes to horizons of peace, brotherhood, justice and solidarity. This is the only way of life, there is no other’. An uphill and winding road, by no means easy, but one that is not travelled alone because ‘we are not alone, we have this security: that with the help of the Holy Spirit, with his gifts, together we can travel it and make it more and more practicable for others too’. The homily was concluded with these words: ‘Come, Creator Spirit, enlighten our minds, fill our hearts with your grace, guide our steps, give our world your peace’.

Starting at noon from the window of the Apostolic Palace for the recitation of the Regina Caeli, after the Marian prayer, the Pontiff said: ‘The Holy Spirit is the one who creates harmony. Harmony. And he creates it from different realities. Sometimes even conflicting ones’. The desire for harmony for the ‘whole world’ was shared, also ‘between Christians of different confessions’. May the Holy Spirit ‘give rulers the courage to make gestures of dialogue, leading to an end to wars,’ he added. Recalling the many countries experiencing war - such as Ukraine, whose city of Kharkiv ‘suffered an attack two days ago’ was recalled, but also the Holy Land. ‘We think of so many places where there are wars, may the Spirit lead the leaders of nations and all of us to open doors of peace’. 

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