(CNS photo/Vatican Media)

June 5, 2022

Pope Francis marks Pentecost Sunday inviting believers to heed the Holy Spirit who “makes the Gospel of Jesus enter into our hearts” and teaches us how to overcome distances.

On the Solemnity of Pentecost, Pope Francis told the faithful, we celebrate the effusion of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, which took place fifty days after Easter.

Speaking after the celebration of Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and before praying the Regina Coeli from the balcony overlooking the Square, the Pope explained that in today’s Liturgy Jesus tells the disciples: “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (Jn 14: 26).

This, the Pope said, is what the Spirit does: he teaches and reminds us of what Christ said.

Let us reflect on these two actions, to teach and to remind, because it is in this way that he makes the Gospel of Jesus enter into our hearts.

The Holy Spirit teaches

By teaching, the Pope continued, the Spirit helps us to overcome an obstacle that presents itself to us in the experience of faith: that of distance.

Indeed, he continued, it is plausible that a doubt may arise “that between the Gospel and everyday life there is a great distance: Jesus lived two thousand years ago, they were other times, other situations, and therefore the Gospel seems to be outdated, unable to speak to our current moment, with its demands and its problems.”

“The question also comes to us: what does the Gospel have to say in the age of the internet and globalization? What impact can its word have?”

A specialist in bridging distances

“The Holy Spirit,” Pope Francis said, “is a specialist in bridging distances, teaching us how to overcome them.”

It is he, the Holy Father explained, who connects Jesus’ teaching “with every time and every person.”

“With him the words of Christ come alive today!”

It is the Spirit, the Pope said, who makes them alive for us, noting that through Scripture he speaks to us and directs us in the present.

“He does not fear the passing of the centuries; rather, He makes believers attentive to the problems and events of their time. For when the Spirit teaches, he actualizes: he keeps faith ever young,” he said.

While we risk “making faith a museum piece,” the Pope said, the Spirit “brings it up to date.”

“For the Holy Spirit does not bind himself to passing epochs or fashions, but brings into today the relevance of Jesus, risen and living.”

The Holy Spirit makes us remember

In order to do this, the Pope continued, the Spirit makes us remember and restores the Gospel to our hearts.

Just as for the Apostles who had listened to Jesus many times, yet had understood little,  “from Pentecost forth, with the Holy Spirit, they remember and they understand.”

“They welcome his words as made specially for them, and they pass from an outward knowledge to a living, convinced, joyful relationship with the Lord. It is the Spirit who does this,” he said.

“The Spirit changes our lives: he makes Jesus’ thoughts become our thoughts. And he does this by reminding us of his words.”

Pope Francis concluded inviting Christians to heed the Holy Spirit, because “without the Spirit reminding us of Jesus, faith becomes forgetful.”

Let us ask ourselves whether we are those Christians who forget Jesus’ love and fall into doubt and fear whenever there is a setback, a struggle, a crisis.

“The remedy is to invoke the Holy Spirit,” the Pope concluded, “especially in important moments, before difficult decisions.”

“Let us take the Gospel in our hands and invoke the Spirit. We can say, “Come, Holy Spirit, remind me of Jesus, enlighten my heart”. Then, we open the Gospel and read a small passage slowly. And the Spirit will make it speak to our lives.”

By Linda Bordoni

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