When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-4
Today concludes the Easter season, the fifty days that, from Jesus’ resurrection to Pentecost, are marked in a particular way by the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is in fact the Easter Gift par excellence. He is the Creator Spirit, who constantly brings about new things. Today’s readings show us two of those new things. In the first reading, the Spirit makes of the disciples ; in the Gospel, he creates in the disciples .
. On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit came down from heaven, in the form of “divided tongues, as of fire… [that] rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages” (2:3-4). This is how the word of God describes the working of the Spirit: first he rests on and then brings of them together in fellowship. To each he gives a gift, and then gathers them all into unity. In other words, the same Spirit creates , and in this way forms a new, diverse and unified people: the Church. First, in a way both creative and unexpected, he generates diversity, for in every age he causes new and varied charisms to blossom. Then he brings about unity: he joins together, gathers and restores harmony: “By his presence and his activity, the Spirit draws into unity spirits that are distinct and separate among themselves” (Cyril of Alexandria, , XI, 11).
…The second new thing brought by the Spirit: . When the risen Jesus first appears to his disciples, he says to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them” (John 20:22-23). Jesus does not condemn them for having denied and abandoned him during his passion, but instead grants them the spirit of forgiveness. The Spirit is the first gift of the risen Lord, and is given above all for the forgiveness of sins. Here we see the beginning of the Church, the glue that holds us together, the cement that binds the bricks of the house: . Because forgiveness is gift to the highest degree; it is the greatest love of all. It preserves unity despite everything, prevents collapse, and consolidates and strengthens. Forgiveness sets our hearts free and enables us to start afresh….
The Holy Spirit is the fire of love burning in the Church and in our hearts, even though we often cover him with the ash of our sins. Let us ask him: “Spirit of God, Lord, who dwell in my heart and in the heart of the Church, guiding and shaping her in diversity, come! Like water, we need you to live. Come down upon us anew, teach us unity, renew our hearts and teach us to love as you love us, to forgive as you forgive us. Amen”.
Homily, Pentecost 2017
For the complete text please visit: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-homily-for-pentecost-2017
May God, the Father of lights,
who was pleased to enlighten the disciples' minds
by the outpouring of the Spirit, the Paraclete,
grant you gladness by His blessing
and make you always abound with the gifts of the same Spirit.
May the wondrous flame that appeared above the disciples
powerfully cleanse your hearts from every evil
and pervade them with its purifying light.
And May God, who has been pleased to unite many tongues
in the profession of one faith,
give you perseverance in that same faith
and, by believing, may you journey from hope to clear vision.
Solemn Blessing for Pentecost
Come Holy Spirit,
create us anew.
Fill us with the fire of Your Love.
May our thoughts, words and deeds
reflect Your Love to each person we meet.
May we boldly use each of Your Gifts
to renew the world in Christ Jesus, Our Lord.