May the Virgin who listens,the Mother of the Church, obtain for our community and for all Christians a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit…
VATICAN CITY, MAY 11, 2008 (Zenit.org)
At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit gave life to a community
that is at the same time
both one and universal, says Benedict XVI.
ThePope affirmed this today during the homily at a Mass he celebrated on the feast of
Pentecost in St. Peter’s Square.”I would like to reflect on a particular aspect of the Holy Spirit, on the intertwining of multiplicity and unity,” he said. “In the event of Pentecost it is made clear that multiple languages and different cultures belong to the Church; they can understand and make each other fruitful. St. Luke clearly wants to convey a fundamental idea, namely, in the act itself of her birth the Church is already’catholic,’ universal.”She speaks all languages from the very beginning, because the Gospel that is entrusted to her is destined for all peoples, according to the will and the mandate of the risen Christ.””The Church that is born at Pentecost is not above all a particular community — theChurch of Jerusalem — but the universal Church, that speaks the language of all peoples,” the Holy Father explained. “From her, other communities in every corner of the world will be born, particular Churches that are all and always actualizations of the one and only Church of Christ. The Catholic Church is therefore not a federation of churches, but a single reality: The universal Church has ontological priority. A community that is not catholic in this sense would not even be a Church.”
Peace and reconciliation- Benedict XVI also emphasized the gift of peace, which Christ won with the price of his blood.“John’s Gospel offers us a word, which accords very well with the mystery of the Church created by the Spirit,” the Pope said. “The word spoken twice by the risen Jesus when he appears in the midst of the disciples in the Cenacle on Easter evening: ‘Shalom — Peace to you!'”
“The expression ‘shalom’ is not a simple greeting; it is much more,” the Holy Father explained. “It is the gift of the promised peace and is won by Jesus with the price of His blood, it is the fruit of this victory and His struggle agains the spirit of evil. It is this a peace ‘not as given by the world’ but as God alone can give it.”
The Pontiff continued: “On this feast of the Spirit of the Church we would like to thank God for having given to his people, chosen and formed from all nations, the inestimable gift of peace, of his peace!”At the same time we renew the awareness of the responsibility connected with this gift: the Church’s responsibility to constitutionally be a sign and an instrument of the peace of God for all peoples. […]
The Church realizes her service to the peace of Christ above all in her ordinary presence and action among men, with the preaching of the Gospel and with the signs of love and mercy that accompany it.”
Benedict XVI said that among these signs, the sacrament of reconciliation should be emphasized.”How important and, unfortunately, how insufficiently understood is the gift of reconciliation that brings peace to hearts,” the Bishop of Rome affirmed.
“Christ’s peace spreads only through the renewed hearts of men and women who have been reconciled and made themselves servants of justice, ready to spread peace in the world
only with the force of truth, without compromising with the mentality of the world, because the world cannot give Christ’s peace.”
This is how the Church can be a ferment of that reconciliation that comes from God.
She can do this only if she remains docile to the Spirit and bears witness to the Gospel,
only if she carries the cross like Jesus and with Jesus.
This is preciselywhat the saints of every age testify to!”
In light of this word of life, dear brothers and sisters, may the prayer that today
we address to God in spiritual union with the Virgin Mary become ever more fervent
May the Virgin who listens, the Mother of the Church, obtain for our community and for all Christians a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.”