In this extract from a homily given on Pentecost Sunday 2013 Pope Francis looks at three things that the Holy Spirit brings.
When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives He will bring newness. This can make us feel uncomfortable because we naturally want to be in control and plan our lives for ourselves. We are happy to be followers of Jesus up to a point but it is hard to abandon our lives completely to Him. We worry that God might take us on a path that we don’t want to take because throughout the Bible whenever God has revealed himself to someone He has brought newness and change into their lives. Noah was ridiculed but when he built the Ark he was saved. Abraham had to leave his home and his country on the strength of a promise by God. We should not fear this newness that the Holy Spirit brings into our lives because it also brings with it a sense of fulfilment and gives us a great joy and peace. Do we want to be surprised by God? Are we open to the Holy Spirit in our lives? Do we have the courage to be led down the new paths that God sets before us?
The Holy Spirit brings harmony to the Church. He brings many different charisms and gifts but these all work together for the good of all. Every Christian should realise how important the Church is. It is through the Holy Spirit working in the Church that the Christian receives Christ and the teaching of the Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, guides and sustains our faith. When we put ourselves outside the Church’s teaching and community then we create division and disharmony. So let us ask ourselves: Do we let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit living in the Church and with the Church?
Our souls have been likened to a sailing boat with the Holy Spirit being the wind that blows it forward in the right direction helped by occasional gusts of wind produced by the gifts of the Spirit. With the help of the Holy Spirit the Church is always driven forward and stops being self-centred and closed in on herself. She is compelled to go out and proclaim the Gospel and to communicate the joy of faith helping everyone to meet with Christ. The Holy Spirit gives us the courage to take the Gospel message out onto the streets of the world. Do we let the Holy Spirit open us up to the mission of spreading the Gospel?
Jesus says: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to remain with you forever” John 14:16