“We are not alone! And the sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit is also the peace that Jesus gives to his disciples”
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The Gospel of today brings us again to the Upper Room. During the Last Supper, before facing the Passion and death on a cross, Jesus promises the apostles the gift of the Holy Spirit, who will have the task of teaching and reminding the community of disciples of his words. Jesus himself says: “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you” (John 14:26). To teach and to remind. And this is what the Holy Spirit does in our hearts.
At the moment in which Jesus is ready to return to the Father, he announces the coming of the Spirit, who before all else will teach the disciples to understand the Gospel ever more fully, and to receive it in their existence and to make it living and active with their testimony.
As he is preparing to entrust to the Apostles — [this title] which means, precisely, those sent — with the mission of bringing the proclamation of the Gospel to the whole world, Jesus promises that they won’t remain alone: The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, will be with them, at their side. Even more, he will be within them, to defend them and sustain them.
Jesus returns to the Father but continues accompanying and teaching his disciples through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The second aspect of the mission of the Holy Spirit is helping the Apostles to remember Jesus’ words.
The Spirit has the task of awakening the memory, reminding of the words of Jesus. The divine Teacher has already communicated all that he sought to entrust to the Apostles: with him, the incarnate Word, revelation is complete.
The Spirit will bring to mind the teachings of Jesus in the various concrete circumstances of life, so as to make them able to be put them into practice. This is precisely what happens still in the Church, guided by the light and the strength of the Holy Spirit, so that it can bring to everyone the gift of salvation, that is, the love and mercy of God.
For example, when every day you read a passage of the Gospel — as I have recommended to you — ask the Holy Spirit: “That I might understand and that I might remember these words of Jesus.” And after reading a passage, every day … but first, make that prayer to the Spirit, who is in our hearts: “That I might remember and that I might understand.”
We are not alone! Jesus is close to us, among us, within us. His new presence in history occurs through the gift of the Holy Spirit, through whom it is possible to establish a living relationship with him, the Crucified and Risen One.
The Spirit, implanted in us with the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, acts in our lives. He guides us in our way of thinking, of acting, of distinguishing what is good and what is bad. He helps us to practice the charity of Jesus, his giving of self to others, especially to the most needy.
We are not alone! And the sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit is also the peace that Jesus gives to his disciples: “My peace I give you” (v. 27).
This peace is different than that which men desire and try to achieve. The peace of Jesus springs from victory over sin, over the egotism that impedes us from loving each other as brothers. It is a gift of God and a sign of his presence. Each disciple, called today to follow Christ carrying his cross, receives in himself the peace of the Crucified and Risen One in the certainty of his victory and in the expectation of his final coming.
May the Virgin Mary help us to receive with docility the Holy Spirit as interior teacher and as living memory of Christ in our daily journey.
Dear brothers and sisters, my warm greeting to our brothers of the Orthodox Churches who today celebrate Easter. May the Risen Lord give to all of you the gifts of his light and his peace. Christos anesti!
I have heard with great sorrow the dramatic news coming from Syria, about the spiral of violence that continues aggravating the already desperate humanitarian situation of that country, particularly in the city of Aleppo, and causing innocent victims, even among children, the ill and those who with great sacrifice are trying to help their neighbor.
I exhort everyone involved in the conflict to respect the ceasefire and to strengthen the ongoing dialogue, which is the only path that will lead to peace.
Tomorrow in Rome begins the international conference on sustainable development and the most vulnerable types of work. I hope that this event can create awareness among authorities, political and economic institutions and civil society, so that a model of development will be promoted that takes into account human dignity in full respect of norms on work and the environment.
I greet the pilgrims from Italy and other countries, in particular I greet the faithful from Madrid, Barcelona and Warsaw, as well as the Abraham Community, established in evangelization projects in Europe; I greet the pilgrims of Olgiate and Comasco, Bagnolo Mella and those who have been confirmed in Castelli Calepio.
I greet the Meter Association, which for so many years has fought against every form of abuse against children. This abuse is a tragedy. We should not tolerate abuse against children. We have to defend the children and severely punish the abusers. Thank you for your efforts and keep up this work with courage!
And to everyone, I wish you a good Sunday and please don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!