"It is gift. For the Spirit himself is gift: he lives by giving himself and in this way he keeps us together, making us sharers in the same gift. It is important to believe that God is gift, that he acts not by taking away, but by giving," he said.
The pope explained that it was essential to believe this because how we understand God shapes our actions.
"If we realize that what we are is his gift, free and unmerited, then we too will want to make our lives a gift. By loving humbly, serving freely and joyfully, we will offer to the world the true image of God," he said.
The pope then identified three "enemies of the gift:" narcissism, victimhood and pessimism.
He defined narcissism as the temptation to idolize ourselves and be concerned only with what is good for us. He said the pandemic showed clearly how wrong narcissism was.
Victimhood was just as dangerous, he said, because the victim is consumed with complaints about their neighbor.
The pessimist, meanwhile, is angry with the world but does nothing to change it for the better.
"At this moment, in the great effort of beginning anew, how damaging is pessimism, the tendency to see everything in the worst light and to keep saying that nothing will return as before," the pope said.
He suggested that these three ways of thinking contributed to a "famine of hope."
"Therefore we need the Holy Spirit, the gift of God who heals us of narcissism, victimhood and pessimism," he said.
The pope concluded his homily with a prayer: "Holy Spirit, memory of God, revive in us the memory of the gift received. Free us from the paralysis of selfishness and awaken in us the desire to serve, to do good. Even worse than this crisis is the tragedy of squandering it by closing in on ourselves."
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
"Come, Holy Spirit: you are harmony; make us builders of unity. You always give yourself; grant us the courage to go out of ourselves, to love and help each other, in order to become one family. Amen."