Sunday, June 4, 2017

PENTECOSTAL GIFT: TONE DEAF POPE SINGS AT CHARISMATIC RALLY IN ROMA!




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.  The opposite temptation is that of seeking unity without diversity.  Here, unity becomes uniformity, where everyone has to do everything together and in the same way, always thinking alike.  Unity ends up being homogeneity and no longer freedom.  But, as Saint Paul says, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”

Pope Francis: homily for Pentecost, 2017

Pope Francis presides over Mass for the Solemnity of Pentecost, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, 04 June 2017 - ANSA
Pope Francis presides over Mass for the Solemnity of Pentecost, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, 04 June 2017 - ANSA
04/06/2017 12:58


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Sunday, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in St. Peter’s Square. Below, please find the full text of his homily in its official English translation
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Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Solemnity of Pentecost
4 June 2017

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 a new people; in the Gospel, he creates in the disciples a new heart.

A new people.  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” (Acts 2:3-4).  This is how the word of God describes the working of the Spirit: 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, diverse and unified people: the universal 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, Commentary on the Gospel of John, XI, 11).  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 temptation seeks diversity without unity.  This happens when we 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.  When this happens, 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.  The opposite temptation is that of seeking unity without diversity.  Here, unity becomes uniformity, where everyone has to do everything together and in the same way, always thinking alike.  Unity ends up being homogeneity and no longer freedom.  But, as Saint Paul says, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17).

So the prayer we make to the Holy Spirit is for the grace to receive his unity, a glance that, leaving personal preferences aside, embraces and loves his Church, our Church.  It is to accept responsibility for unity among all, to wipe out the gossip that sows the darnel of discord and the poison of envy, since to be men and women of the Church means being men and women of communion.  It is also to ask for a heart that feels that the Church is our Mother and our home, an open and welcoming home where the manifold joy of the Holy Spirit is shared.

Now we come to the second new thing brought by the Spirit: a new heart.  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” (Jn 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: forgiveness.  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.  Forgiveness gives hope; without forgiveness, the Church is not built up.

The spirit of forgiveness resolves everything in harmony, and leads us to reject every other way: the way of hasty judgement, the cul-de-sac of closing every door, the one-way street criticizing others.  Instead, the Spirit bids us take the two-way street of forgiveness received and given, of divine mercy that becomes love of neighbour, of charity as “the sole criterion by which everything must be done or not done, changed or not changed” (ISAAC OF STELLA, Or. 31).  Let us ask for the grace to make more beautiful the countenance of our Mother the Church, letting ourselves be renewed by forgiveness and self-correction.  Only then will we be able to correct others in charity.

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”.

5 comments:

johnnyc said...

guiding and shaping her in diversity?

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.....

Anonymous said...

What a disgrace seeing the Vicar of Christ take part in that spectical. He will kneel before Muslims and Jews and atheists and join Protestants in prayer services. He will put a clown nose on but he won't wear a Mozzetta. He greets with joy every South American dictator yet he refuses to kneel before our Lord in the MBS. He will attend this spectical but he would never darken the door of a church to attend a Tridentine Mass. He refuses to teach the Catholic Faith with clarity and sees doctrine as a stumbling stone. Christ presented us with the model of the Church as His spotless bride but Francis sees it as some filthy bloody battlefield hospital. He is making all this stuff up. None of what he says or does has any Catholicity about it at all. He is trying to invent a new church.

Mark Thomas said...

I viewed part of the video in question. I saw people who praised the Lord. I saw people who offered God's peace and love to the world. I saw people who witnessed to the holy friendship that they have with Jesus Christ.

I saw people who loved God.

Conversely, how many people throughout the Church and world have turned their backs upon God? How many Catholics and others throughout the world refuse to render praise and worship unto God?

The charismatic way isn't my way. But should (Catholic) charismatics desire to connect to God in Church-approved fashion, then I wish unto them peace as they praise and worship God.

They are my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ

Pax.

Mark Thomas

rcg said...

For crowds of this size, this sort of Mass seems appropriate. We are no longer capable of mass expressions of quiet reverence. Perhaps in these times mass expressions of quiet reverence are dangerous to our Faith because our society and governments want us to hide our Faith behind closed doors and only expose it in concurrence with mutually acceptable programs. I also think that a person should have this sort of external exuberance coexisting with the desire to experience humble reverence. It has to be balanced like any other diet or the person is not healthy.

The problem for our Liturgy and for our Mass is that one cannot interrupt cacophony with silence. We cannot dillute or adulterate a clown mass with reverence, but emotional outbursts do drown out the whisper of God. Salt and sugar can't be measured when they are already mixed.

I see many sermons by the Pope deriding over ridgid religious expression. Is that really such a wide spread problem that it needs his constant attention? Does he speak out with the same frequency against irreverence? Is it of less concern for some reason?

ByzRC said...

Unfortunately, my eye, and perhaps that of others is immediately drawn to the photo of those vested for Mass snapping pictures with their cell phones. Is that so bad one might ask? Is that another example of rigidity?? Who am I to judge??? In fairness, they are likely excited to be there and caught up in the moment. However, given where they are and as this should be reflective of the absolute best the Church has to offer, perhaps those directly involved should be reflective and solemn given the work that is about to be undertaken. If sheer numbers makes clergy/acolyte photos with the pontiff afterward not possible; perhaps, then, too many are involved.

As for the Rally, being outside of Mass, it doesn't concern me and I wouldn't involve myself. It would be nice, however, if HH, instead of criticizing, paid some attention to that part of his flock that continues to be nourished by the worship, music and culture that sustained the church and provided her saints for almost two millenia.