Before reciting the Regina Coeli prayer from his apartment window, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of Pentecost and the constant “effusion” of the Holy Spirit on the Church, “without which it would exhaust its forces, like a sailboat lacking wind.” He taught that there is no Church without Pentecost and no Pentecost without Mary.
The celebration of the Solemnity renews strong moments of unity on local and universal levels, he said, citing the Vatican Councils and the occasion of John Paul II’s meeting with ecclesial movements in the Square in 1998 as examples. “But the Church,” he continued, “knows innumerable ‘pentecosts’ that enliven the local communities: think of the Liturgy, in particular of those that lived in special moments for the life of the community, in those the strength of God is perceived in an evident way, instilling joy and enthusiasm in souls.
“We think of so many prayer conventions, in which the young people feel clearly the call of God to root their lives in his love, also consecrating themselves entirely to Him,” said Pope Benedict.
“So,” he observed, “there is no Church without Pentecost.”
And, he added before the Marian prayer, “there is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary.”
She was present in the Upper Room when with the disciples when the Holy Spirit descended and, as she is “in all places and times,” the Pope explained, including his recent trip to Fatima as an example.
“What did that immense multitude live, in fact, in the esplanade of the Sanctuary, where all of us were a single heart and soul, if it wasn’t a renewal of Pentecost?
“Among us was Mary, the Mother of God,” Pope Benedict said of the Mass he celebrated in Fatima with 500,000 people in attendance on May 13.
Saying that wherever Christians join in prayer with Mary, the Lord offers them his Spirit, Pope Benedict XVI closed by invoking her aid for the Church and its ministers, “so that the message of salvation may be announced to all peoples.”