Vatican City, May 31, 2020 / 03:40 am
Pope Francis urged Catholics to view the Church “with the eyes of the Spirit” as he celebrated Pentecost Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
In his homily May 31, he cautioned against seeing the Church in worldly terms.
He said: “The Spirit comes to us, in our differences and difficulties, to tell us that we have one Lord -- Jesus -- and one Father, and that for this reason we are brothers and sisters.”
“Let us begin anew from here; let us look at the Church with the eyes of the Spirit and not as the world does. The world sees us only as on the right or left, with this ideology, with the other; the Spirit sees us as sons and daughters of the Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus. The world sees conservatives and progressives; the Spirit sees children of God. A worldly gaze sees structures to be made more efficient; a spiritual gaze sees brothers and sisters pleading for mercy.”
Around 50 people attended the Mass in St. Peter’s. They sat spaced apart, with many wearing medical masks, to reduce the chance of spreading the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 369,000 lives worldwide as of May 31.
In his homily, the pope reflected on “the secret” of the Church’s unity. He noted that from its earliest days the Church had brought together people with different characters and backgrounds. The Apostles “all had different ideas and sensibilities,” but Jesus did not eliminate their differences. Instead, he anointed them all with the Holy Spirit.
“Let us now focus on ourselves, the Church of today,” the pope said. “We can ask ourselves: ‘What is it that unites us, what is the basis of our unity?’ We too have our differences, for example: of opinions, choices, sensibilities. The temptation is always fiercely to defend our ideas, believing them to be good for everybody and agreeing only with those who think as we do. And that’s a bad temptation that divides. But this is a faith created in our own image; it is not what the Spirit wants.”
The pope said that Catholics were united not only by beliefs and morality, but also by the Holy Spirit.