The power of the Holy Spirit changes hearts and situations
Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Pentecost Sunday. His homily reminds us of that first Pentecost, when the disciples received the gift of the Holy Spirit and suddenly experienced a change of heart, gaining the courage to go out to the ends of the earth. Below is an excerpt from his pentecostal sermon:
The Spirit frees hearts chained by fear.
“He overcomes all resistance. To those content with half measures he inspires whole-hearted generosity. He opens hearts that are closed. He impels the comfortable to go out and serve. He drives the self-satisfied to set out in new directions. He makes the lukewarm thrill to new dreams. That is what it means to change hearts. Plenty of people promise change, new beginnings, prodigious renewals, but experience teaches us that no earthly attempt to change reality can ever completely satisfy the human heart.
Yet the change that the Spirit brings is different. It does not revolutionize life around us, but changes our hearts. It does not free us from the weight of our problems, but liberates us within so that we can face them.
It does not give us everything at once, but makes us press on confidently, never growing weary of life. The Spirit keeps our hearts young – a renewed youth. Youth, for all our attempts to prolong it, sooner or later fades away; the Spirit, instead, prevents the only kind of aging that is unhealthy: namely, growing old within. How does he do this? By renewing our hearts, by pardoning sinners. Here is the great change: from guilty he makes us righteous and thus changes everything. From slaves of sin we become free, from servants we become beloved children, from worthless worthy, from disillusioned filled with hope.
By the working of the Holy Spirit, joy is reborn and peace blossoms in our hearts.
Blow upon our world the soothing warmth of peace and the refreshing cool of hope. Come Holy Spirit, change us within and renew the face of the earth. Amen.” Rejoice and Be Glad!
To read the full sermon, click here.