Faith Community at WordsFree.org
June 25, 2017, 01:52:31 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Wordsfree is on a New Server again! (April 2017)
We moved from Azure to a new cloud solution that should be more stable, and importantly: cheaper! -- Matt
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Pope Francis's homily Pentecost, 19 May 2013  (Read 1678 times)
Alan
Administrator
Forum Fanatic
*****

Karma: +89/-5038
Offline Offline

Posts: 5544


Evolving...

piggysiggy
View Profile Email
« on: June 23, 2013, 01:12:14 PM »

Today at a meeting of the retreat I was at, Father Steve handed out a copy of this homily, and it was so awesome I had to start a thread about it.  It's pretty long but it's well worth reading and discussing IMO.  Well obviously IMO or I wouldn't have posted it -- duhh.  Roll Eyes

Without further ado ... here is the homily:  http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-homily-at-pentecost-mass
******************************************************************************
Vatican City, May 19, 2013 (Zenit.org) | 5228 hits

Here is the translation of Pope Francis' homily at Mass for the Solemnity of Pentecost which was celebrated this morning at St. Peter's Square.


* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we contemplate and re-live in the liturgy the outpouring of the Holy Spirit sent by the risen Christ upon his Church; an event of grace which filled the Upper Room in Jerusalem and then spread throughout the world.

But what happened on that day, so distant from us and yet so close as to touch the very depths of our hearts? Luke gives us the answer in the passage of the Acts of the Apostles which we have heard (2:1-11). The evangelist brings us back to Jerusalem, to the Upper Room where the apostles were gathered. The first element which draws our attention is the sound which suddenly came from heaven like the rush of a violent wind, and filled the house; then the tongues as of fire which divided and came to rest on each of the apostles. Sound and tongues of fire: these are clear, concrete signs which touch the apostles not only from without but also within: deep in their minds and hearts. As a result, all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, who unleashed his irresistible power with amazing consequences: they all began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. A completely unexpected scene opens up before our eyes: a great crowd gathers, astonished because each one heard the apostles speaking in his own language. They all experience something new, something which had never happened before: We hear them, each of us, speaking our own language. And what is it that they are they speaking about? Gods deeds of power.

In the light of this passage from Acts, I would like to reflect on three words linked to the working of the Holy Spirit: newness, harmony and mission.

1. Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, programme and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences. This is also the case when it comes to God. Often we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives in our every decision. We fear that God may force us to strike out on new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish horizons in order to become open to his own. Yet throughout the history of salvation, whenever God reveals himself, he brings newness and change, and demands our complete trust: Noah, mocked by all, builds an ark and is saved; Abram leaves his land with only a promise in hand; Moses stands up to the might of Pharaoh and leads his people to freedom; the apostles, huddled fearfully in the Upper Room, go forth with courage to proclaim the Gospel. This is not a question of novelty for noveltys sake, the search for something new to relieve our boredom, as is so often the case in our own day. The newness which God brings into our life is something that actually brings fulfilment, that gives true joy, true serenity, because God loves us and desires only our good. Let us ask ourselves: Are we open to Gods surprises? Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit? Do we have the courage to strike out along the new paths which Gods newness sets before us, or do we resist, barricaded in transient structures which have lost their capacity for openness to what is new?

2. A second thought: the Holy Spirit would appear to create disorder in the Church, since he brings the diversity of charisms and gifts; yet all this, by his working, is a great source of wealth, for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which does not mean uniformity, but which leads everything back to harmony. In the Church, it is the Holy Spirit who creates harmony. One of Fathers of the Church has an expression which I love: the Holy Spirit himself is harmony Ipse harmonia est. Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity. Here too, when we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and other, we bring division. When we are the ones who want to build unity in accordance with our human plans, we end up creating uniformity, standardization. But if instead we let ourselve be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become a source of conflict, because he impels us to experience variety within the communion of the Church. Journeying together in the Church, under the guidance of her pastors who possess a special charism and ministry, is a sign of the working of the Holy Spirit. Having a sense of the Church is something fundamental for every Christian, every community and every movement. It is the Church which brings Christ to me, and me to Christ; parallel journeys are dangerous! When we venture beyond (proagon) the Churchs teaching and community, and do not remain in them, we are not one with the God of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Jn 9). So let us ask ourselves: Am I open to the harmony of the Holy Spirit, overcoming every form of exclusivity? Do I let myself be guided by him, living in the Church and with the Church?

3. A final point. The older theologians used to say that the soul is a kind of sailboat, the Holy Spirit is the wind which fills its sails and drives it forward, and the gusts of wind are the gifts of the Spirit. Lacking his impulse and his grace, we do not go forward. The Holy Spirit draws us into the mystery of the living God and saves us from the threat of a Church which is gnostic and self-referential, closed in on herself; he impels us to open the doors and go forth to proclaim and bear witness to the good news of the Gospel, to communicate the joy of faith, the encounter with Christ. The Holy Spirit is the soul of mission. The events that took place in Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago are not something far removed from us; they are events which affect us and become a lived experience in each of us. The Pentecost of the Upper Room in Jerusalem is the beginning, a beginning which endures. The Holy Spirit is the supreme gift of the risen Christ to his apostles, yet he wants that gift to reach everyone. As we heard in the Gospel, Jesus says: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to remain with you forever (Jn 14:16). It is the Paraclete Spirit, the Comforter, who grants us the courage to take to the streets of the world, bringing the Gospel! The Holy Spirit makes us look to the horizon and drive us to the very outskirts of existence in order to proclaim life in Jesus Christ. Let us ask ourselves: do we tend to stay closed in on ourselves, on our group, or do we let the Holy Spirit open us to mission?

Todays liturgy is a great prayer which the Church, in union with Jesus, raises up to the Father, asking him to renew the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. May each of us, and every group and movement, in the harmony of the Church, cry out to the Father and implore this gift. Today too, as at her origins, the Church, in union with Mary, cries out:Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love! Amen.
Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Veronica97
Full Member
***

Karma: +3/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 139


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 02:32:20 PM »

With all due respect to our former popes, I find that I am especially drawn to the preaching of Pope Francis.  Maybe that's just because I'm stronger in my faith now than at any other time.  But I also find that Pope Francis speaks plainly and simply, and his messages seem to speak to my heart.  One thing that stood out to me are these words:

 
Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity. Here too, when we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and other, we bring division. When we are the ones who want to build unity in accordance with our human plans, we end up creating uniformity, standardization. But if instead we let ourselve be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become a source of conflict, because he impels us to experience variety within the communion of the Church. Journeying together in the Church, under the guidance of her pastors who possess a special charism and ministry, is a sign of the working of the Holy Spirit.


I actually experienced this last week.  At a ladies' meeting at church, one of the other ladies began complaining about our pastor, about all the things he doesn't do.  I kind of got caught up and began agreeing with some of the things she said.  But then I thought, "Wait a minute--I need to say some GOOD things about our pastor."  And so I did.  The fact is, every pastor, like every pope, possesses a special charism and ministry.  Some may possess great knowledge of history and the church and the ability to teach it to others.  Some may possess a great devotion to our lady and the rosary.  Some may possess the gift of compassion--the ability to reach out to others in a unique way and gather in the lost sheep.  And so on ad infinitum.   And so when I confessed, in my last confession, to agreeing with this woman about our pastor's faults (which by the way, I judged was a venial sin due to the fact that I meant no disrespect or malice towards the pastor and as soon as I realized what I was doing, I made sure to say some good things about him), the priest that I confessed to said that the devil does try to cause division.  And if he can get us to criticize the pastor as a pastor, then it soon becomes criticism of the man himself.  And I realized this causes DIVISION in the parish.  And I caught myself doing it again last night in a post on WF.  I started to say some things about my parish:  "We don't have this, we don't have that..." and then I went back and modified my post b/c I thought, "I'm doing the VERY SAME THING--I'm criticizing my parish, which in turn criticizes the pastor, which in turn criticizes his character as a man."  Nope, I don't want to get caught up in that kind of divisive thinking.  If there's something at our parish that I don't think is being emphasized (and I think it should be), then it's up to me as a lay person (with God's guidance and help of course) to do what I can to change it (WITHOUT being divisive.)
Logged
Alan
Administrator
Forum Fanatic
*****

Karma: +89/-5038
Offline Offline

Posts: 5544


Evolving...

piggysiggy
View Profile Email
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2013, 02:39:22 PM »

I started to say some things about my parish:  "We don't have this, we don't have that..." and then I went back and modified my post b/c I thought, "I'm doing the VERY SAME THING--I'm criticizing my parish, which in turn criticizes the pastor, which in turn criticizes his character as a man."  Nope, I don't want to get caught up in that kind of divisive thinking.  If there's something at our parish that I don't think is being emphasized (and I think it should be), then it's up to me as a lay person (with God's guidance and help of course) to do what I can to change it (WITHOUT being divisive.)

OTOH, if your pastor is open to hearing people's honest opinions, that is a great joy.  I know because that's what I have now.  If I say, Father, don't you think we should have this or that?  He will tell me either that he agrees with me, or he might explain why we don't or shouldn't, or what alternatives exist.  But either way, he doesn't mind people disagreeing or asking probing questions, as long as they are being respectful and really want to hear what Father has to say.  That's the catch, and that's why he likes answering my questions; he doesn't pull his punches because I like it straight up.  And it may not just be a yes or no; Father H cannot be constrained to a multiple-choice answer.  Grin

Alan
Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Alan
Administrator
Forum Fanatic
*****

Karma: +89/-5038
Offline Offline

Posts: 5544


Evolving...

piggysiggy
View Profile Email
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2013, 02:49:02 PM »

Wait I forgot the most important part.

Father H is all ears if I say to him, "since we don't have X, is it OK if I organize one?"

But if you are asking him to do something to increase his already impressive workload, good luck.  He has people wanting to organize some type of group or meeting then come to him with many issues.  He always has an open door and will give his opinion, but he's not going to step in and start running something that a person told him they will do.

Alan

Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Veronica97
Full Member
***

Karma: +3/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 139


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 02:56:31 PM »

Wait I forgot the most important part.

Father H is all ears if I say to him, "since we don't have X, is it OK if I organize one?"

But if you are asking him to do something to increase his already impressive workload, good luck.  He has people wanting to organize some type of group or meeting then come to him with many issues.  He always has an open door and will give his opinion, but he's not going to step in and start running something that a person told him they will do.

Alan


Yeah, that's what I meant.  If I think (or my ladies' group thinks) we should be promoting something in the parish, then we must find a way to promote it with our pastor's permission.  Not just say, "Oh Father, we need you to promote this."  He's got two parishes to run--he has his hands full--and so the last thing we need to be doing is criticizing him.  He can't be all things to all people.
Logged
Alan
Administrator
Forum Fanatic
*****

Karma: +89/-5038
Offline Offline

Posts: 5544


Evolving...

piggysiggy
View Profile Email
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2013, 06:15:28 PM »

2. A second thought: the Holy Spirit would appear to create disorder in the Church, since he brings the diversity of charisms and gifts; yet all this, by his working, is a great source of wealth, for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which does not mean uniformity, but which leads everything back to harmony. In the Church, it is the Holy Spirit who creates harmony. One of Fathers of the Church has an expression which I love: the Holy Spirit himself is harmony Ipse harmonia est. Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity.

I was tickled to hear this from F1.  This speaks to why I got kicked off of an apologetic website.  We are driven partly by facts and figures, supplemented by messages we get from the Spirit, through our hearts.  When we decide that the academic aspects of our religion -- the theology, tradition, structure etc. -- are everything and "Personal Opinion" means nothing, then we have engineered the Holy Spirit out of our organization.  And that's exactly what has happened IMO over the vast majority of Catholics I've seen.

And those who do listen to their hearts are damned by the words of those who don't.  So they stuff it, or they argue back which is useless because they do not recognize anything without at least an imprimatur, better yet in the CCC or some ex cathedra document.  They allow you no authorship over your own feelings, and in fact will tell you what your feelings mean when they can't even control their own emotional outbursts that set them off into their intellectual tirades against those who Dare To Question them.

That's the problem with contemplatives and mystics.  They speak from something other than a certified text book, thus they give life to the Word of God, rather than always trying to enforce a "dead" (written) code.

Quote
Here too, when we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and other, we bring division. When we are the ones who want to build unity in accordance with our human plans, we end up creating uniformity, standardization. But if instead we let ourselve be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become a source of conflict, because he impels us to experience variety within the communion of the Church. Journeying together in the Church, under the guidance of her pastors who possess a special charism and ministry, is a sign of the working of the Holy Spirit.

I know we have the Holy Spirit working in WF.  We are diverse, but we are also united.  We support each other even when we have very troubling things to say about the Church, or for that matter do troubling things ourselves.  The ultimate victory of WordsFree is in the people who have found some healing or comfort.  And better than comfort, actual transformation.  We each have our strengths, and we have an environment here where each of us can make use of them.

Quote
Having a sense of the Church is something fundamental for every Christian, every community and every movement. It is the Church which brings Christ to me, and me to Christ; parallel journeys are dangerous! When we venture beyond (proagon) the Churchs teaching and community, and do not remain in them, we are not one with the God of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Jn 9). So let us ask ourselves: Am I open to the harmony of the Holy Spirit, overcoming every form of exclusivity? Do I let myself be guided by him, living in the Church and with the Church?

Amen!

Alan
Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!