The Pope exhorts us to forgive and correct ourselves

“According to God’s will, a union that is not uniformity, but unity in difference,” affirms the Pope who on Pentecost Sunday celebrated Mass sided by cardinals, bishops, and priests in St. Peter’s square. During the Eucharistic celebration, after reading the Gospel, Francis pronounces the homily asking for “the grace to make more beautiful the countenance of our Mother the Church.” The Pope exhorts us to forgive and correct ourselves: “Only then will we be able to correct others in charity.” So let us ask the Holy Spirit “Fire of love burning in the Church and in our hearts, even though we often cover him with the ash of our sins: “Spirit of God, Lord, who dwell in my heart and in the heart of the Church, guiding and shaping her in diversity, come!” In fact, the Pontiff emphasizes, “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.”

Today, Jorge Mario Bergoglio remembers, “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.” So, Fran-cis points out, ” Today’s readings show us two of those new things. In the first reading, the Spirit makes of the disciples a new people; in the Gospel, he creates in the disciples a new heart. 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”. The Word of God, the Pope points out, describes the action of the Spirit, who ” first he rests on each and then brings all 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 diversity and unity, and in this way forms a new, di-verse and unified people: the universal Church, in a way both creative and unexpected, he generates diversity, for in every age he causes new and varied charisms to blossom.” Then the same Spirit “brings about unity: he joins together, gathers and restores harmony. In fact, the Pope continues by quoting the commentary on the Gospel of John of Cyril of Alexandria, “By his presence and his activity, the Spirit draws into unity spirits that are distinct and separate among themselves.” He does so in a way that effects “true union, according to God’s will, a union that is not uniformity, but unity in difference.”

For this to happen “we need to avoid two recurrent temptations.” The first, Francis warns, is to “seek diversity without unity”. This happens when ” want to separate, when we take sides and form parties, when we adopt rigid and airtight positions, when we become locked into our own ideas and ways of doing things, perhaps even thinking that we are better than others, or always in the right” then “we choose the part over the whole, belonging to this or that group before belonging to the Church. We become avid supporters for one side, rather than brothers and sisters in the one Spirit. We become Christians of the “right” or the “left”, before being on the side of Jesus, unbending guardians of the past or the avant-garde of the future before being humble and grateful children of the Church.” The result is “diversity without unity.”

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