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​According to the Spirit

· ​At Mass on Pentecost the Pope cautions never to compromise with sin or corruption ·

And at the Regina Caeli he launches a new appeal for refugees and recalls World War I

The world needs men and women who are open to the presence of the Spirit. Pope Francis said this at Mass on Pentecost on Sunday morning, 24 May, in the Vatican Basilica. In his homily, he invited believers “to battle uncompromisingly against sin” and “against corruption, which continues to spread in the world day after day”.

In describing the work of the Paraclete, the Pontiff brought to light three verbs: to guide, to renew, to give fruit. “To the Apostles, who could not bear the scandal of their Master’s sufferings, the Spirit would give a new understanding of the truth and beauty”, he recalled, referring to the first verb.

At first they were “paralyzed with fear”, thanks to the Holy Spirit these men were no longer “ashamed to be Christ’s disciples; they would no longer tremble before the courts of men”. In this way they will “ 'all the truth', becoming witnesses of “Good News, to be proclaimed to all”.

Regarding the second verb, Francis spoke about the need to maintain “respect for creation” as “a requirement of our faith”. In fact, he explained, “the 'garden' in which we live is not entrusted to us to be exploited, but rather to be cultivated and tended with respect”. This is only possible, “if Adam – the man formed from the earth – allows himself in turn to be renewed by the Holy Spirit, only if he allows himself to be re-formed by the Father on the model of Christ, the new Adam”. In this way “we will indeed be able to experience the freedom of the sons and daughters, in harmony with all creation. In every creature we will be able to see reflected the glory of the Creator”.

Lastly, speaking of the fruits of the Spirit, the Pope listed St Paul's “nine joyful virtues”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. He warned of ways in which we can be closed to the gifts of the Paraclete, especially those ways which are manifested “by selfishness for one’s own gain; by rigid legalism”, as well as “by neglect of what Jesus taught; by living the Christian life not as service to others but in the pursuit of personal interests”. The world instead, he concluded, needs “the courage, hope, faith and perseverance of Christ’s followers”.

The theme of Pentecost returned at the Regina Caeli, which the Pope recited in St Peter's Square with the faithful at the end of Mass. There he launched an appeal to welcome refugees “who face grave suffering and danger”. The Holy Father also recalled “the useless massacre” brought about by the First World War one century ago.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 14, 2018

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