Francis – Pentecost 2016

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis focused on the Feast of Pentecost during his remarks before the Regina Coeli prayer on Sunday.

 The day’s liturgy, Pope Francis said, “invites us to open our minds and our hearts to the gift of the Holy Spirit . . . the first and principle gift that He has obtained with His Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven.”

In the Gospel, Jesus says to His disciples, “If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Paraclete to be with you always.” These words, the Pope said, “remind us above all that love for a person, and also for the Lord, is shown not with words but with facts.” The command to keep and observe the commandments must likewise be understood in such a way that they affect our whole life. In fact, the Pope said, “being Christians does not primarily mean pertaining to a certain culture or adhering to a certain doctrine, but rather, joining one’s very life, in every aspect, to the person of Jesus, and, through Him, to the Father.” It is precisely for this reason that Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit: it is through the gift of the Spirit, “the love which unites the Father and the Son, and proceeds from them,” that we are able to live the very life of Jesus.

But “the Holy Spirit also exercises a function of teaching and memory.” Pope Francis explained that the Holy Spirit does not bring a teaching different from that of Jesus, but helps make Jesus’ teaching present and active in our lives.

The Holy Father concluded his remarks with the prayer that the Blessed Virgin Mary “might obtain for us the grace of being strongly animated by the Holy Spirit, that we might bear witness to Christ with evangelical frankness, and open ourselves more and more to the fullness of His love.”

Pope Entrusts All Moms to Mary on This Mother’s Day

Posted by Kathleen Naab on 8 May, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 6.51.30 PMPope Francis noted that many countries are celebrating Mother’s Day today, as he entrusted all mothers to Our Lady.

The Pope mentioned mothers at the end of his address after praying the midday Regina Caeli in St. Peter’s Square.

“We recall with gratitude and affection all mothers, those who are today in the Square, our mothers, those who are among us and those who have gone to heaven,” he said.

The Pope led the faithful in a prayer for mothers, as he said, “We entrust them to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and for all of them we pray a Hail Mary.”

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text of Regina Caeli address: https://zenit.org/articles/regina-caeli-full-text-on-the-ascension/

Pope: We Should Leave Mass Today With a Message

Posted by Kathleen Naab on 8 May, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 1.34.51 PMAfter the Ascension, the disciples returned to Jerusalem unafraid, despite the violence they had witnessed in that city. In the same way, says Pope Francis, Christians can dwell in any city of the world, even the most violent, because above every one of those cities is the same heaven, and there, we can raise our eyes in hope.

The Pope made this reflection today before praying the midday Regina Caeli in St. Peter’s Square. Though at the Vatican, the Ascension was marked on Thursday, the Pontiff dedicated his reflection today to the feast, since it is transferred to Sunday (today) in many parts of the world.

“Our humanity enters for the first time into heaven,” he said. “[…] God is true man and his human body is in heaven, and this is our hope, it is our anchor that is there [in heaven] and we are firmly in this hope if we look toward heaven. In this heaven dwells that God who has revealed himself to be so close that he took a human face, that of Jesus of Nazareth. He remains forever; he is God-with-us.”

Before departing from the disciples, Jesus reminded them of their identity as witnesses of his death and resurrection, the Pope recalled.

“And in fact, after having seen their Lord ascend to heaven, the disciples returned to the city as witnesses who with joy announced to everyone the new life that comes from the Risen Crucified One, in whose name ‘repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations,’” he said.

The Pope stressed that this same testimony — “made not only with words but also with daily life” — should be the testimony that “every Sunday should leave our churches to go during the week into houses, offices, schools, places of meeting and entertainment, into hospitals, prisons, retirement homes, the places packed with immigrants, the peripheries of cities.”

“This is the testimony we have to take every week,” he exhorted: “Christ is with us. Jesus ascended to heaven, he is with us. Christ is alive.”

The power of that testimony is from the Holy Spirit, Francis recalled, saying that it is important to always go back to prayer, to ask for the gift of the Spirit.

“In this week that brings us to the feast of Pentecost,” he invited, “let us stay spiritually in the Upper Rome, together with the Virgin Mary, to receive the Holy Spirit.”