May 31, 2020
Holy Mass for Pentecost Sunday Pope Francis Transcript
On Sunday, May 31, Pope Francis held a Holy Mass for Pentecost Sunday at the Vatican. Read the transcript, translated to English.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev for free and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Pope Francis: (00:04)
We will now hear our Holy Father’s homily for this solemnity of Pentecost.
Pope Francis: (00:21)
There are a variety of spiritual gifts, but the same spirit. As the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians and he continues. There are different forms of service, but the same Lord. There are different workings, but the same God who produces all of them in everyone, diversity and unity, Saint Paul insists on putting these two words together that seem contradictory. He wants to tell us that the Holy Spirit is the one who brings together the many and that the church was born this way. We are all different yet united by the same Holy Spirit.
Pope Francis: (01:17)
Let us go back to the origin of the church to the day of Pentecost. Let us look at the apostles who were simple people accustomed to living by the work of their hands. Some of them were fishermen and there were others like Matthew, who was an educated tax collector. They were from different backgrounds and social contexts, and they had Hebrew and Greek names. In terms of character, some were meek and others were excitable. They all had different ideas and sensibilities. They were all different. Jesus did not change them. He did not unify them into a set of pre-packaged models.
Pope Francis: (02:09)
No. He left their differences and now he unites them by anointing them with the Holy Spirit. The union of them with their differences comes with the anointing. At Pentecost, the apostles understand the unifying power of the spirit. They see it with their own eyes when everyone, though speaking in different languages, come together as one people, the people of God shaped by the spirit who weaves unity from diversity and bestows harmony because the spirit is harmony. He is harmony. Let us now focus on ourselves, the church of today. We can ask ourselves, what is it that unites us?
Pope Francis: (03:17)
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 this is an ugly temptation that divides us. But this is a faith created in our own image. This is not what the spirit wants. We might think that what unites us are our beliefs and our morality, but there’s much more. Our principle of unity is the Holy Spirit. He reminds us that, first of all, we are God’s beloved children.
Pope Francis: (04:21)
Everyone is equal in this sense and everyone is different. 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 speak in a new 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, but 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.
Pope Francis: (05:18)
A worldly gaze sees structures to be made more efficient. Spiritual gazes sees brothers and sisters pleading for mercy. The spirit love says and knows everyone’s place in the grand scheme of things. For him, we are not bits of confetti blown about by the wind. Rather, we are irreplaceable fragments in his mosaic. If we go back to the day of Pentecost, we discover the first task of the church’s proclamation. Yet, we also see that the apostles devised no strategy. They had no pastoral plan when they were closed up in the upper room. They didn’t prepare a strategy.
Pope Francis: (06:11)
They didn’t have a pastoral plan. They could have divided people into groups according to their familial roots, speaking first to those close by, and then to those far away. They could also have waited a while before beginning their preaching in order to understand more deeply the teachings of Jesus so as to avoid risks. No, the spirit does not want the memory of the master to be cultivated in small groups, locked in upper rooms where it is easy to make nests. This is an illness that even can affect the church. The church, not as a community or as a family or as a mother, but as a nest.
Pope Francis: (07:08)
He opens doors and pushes us to press beyond what has already been said and done beyond the precincts of a timid and wary faith. In the world, unless there is a tight organization and a clear strategy, things fall apart and this happens in the church. But in the church, however, the spirit guarantees unity to those who proclaim the message. The apostles set off and prepared yet putting their lives on the line. One thing kept them going, the desire to give what they receive. It’s beautiful, the beginning of the letter of John, that which we have received and seen, we give to you.
Pope Francis: (08:11)
Here we come to understand what the secret of unity is, the secret of the spirit, the secret of unity of the church. It’s the secret of the spirit, which 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. Why is this important? Because our way of being believers depends on how we understand God. If we have in mind a God who takes away and imposes himself, we too will want to take away and impose ourselves occupying spaces, demanding recognition, seeking power.
Pope Francis: (09:11)
But if we have in our hearts, God, who is gift, everything changes. If we realize that what we are is his gift, free and unmerited gift, then we too will want to make our lives a gift. By loving, humbling, serving freely and joyfully, we will offer to the world the true image of God. The spirit, the living memory of the church reminds us that we are born from a gift and that we grow by giving. Not by holding on, but by giving of ourselves. Dear brothers and sisters, let us look within and ask ourselves what prevents us from giving ourselves.
Pope Francis: (10:21)
Let’s say that there are three enemies of the gift, three principle enemies always lurking at the door of our hearts. They are narcissism, victim hood and pessimism. Narcissism makes us idolize ourselves to be concerned only with what is good for us. The narcissist thinks life is good if I profit from it. So he or she ends up saying, why should I give myself to others? So in this time of pandemic, how wrong narcissism is the tendency to think only of our own needs to be indifferent to those of others and not to admit our own frailties and mistakes.
Pope Francis: (11:19)
But even the second enemy, victim hood, is equally dangerous. Victims complain every day about their neighbor. No one understands me. No one helps me. No one loves me. Everyone has it in for me. How many times we’ve heard these complaints? The victim’s heart is closed as he or she asks, why aren’t others concerned about me? In the crisis we are experiencing, how ugly victim hood is thinking that no one understands us and experiences what we experience. This is victim hood. And lastly, there is pessimism. Here, the unending complaint is nothing is going well, society, politics, the church.
Pope Francis: (12:26)
The pessimist gets angry with the world, but sits back and does nothing, thinking what good is giving, that’s useless. At this moment in the great effort of beginning a new, how damaging pessimism is. The tendency to see everything in the worst light and to keep saying that nothing will return as before, nothing will be the same. In thinking this way, the one thing that certainly does not return is hope. Of these three, the narcissistic idolatry of myself in the mirror, the God of lamentation, I feel that I am a person that when I complain and the God of negativity, everything is black and dark.
Pope Francis: (13:30)
We find ourselves in the famine of hope and we need to appreciate the gift of life. The gift that each of us is. So we need the Holy Spirit, the gift of God who heals us of narcissism, Victim hood, and pessimism. He heals us from the mirror, from complaining and from darkness. Brothers and sisters, let’s pray to him. Holy spirit, God’s memory, revive in us the memory of the gift received. Free us from the paralysis of selfishness and awakened 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.
Pope Francis: (14:34)
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.
Pope Francis: (15:08)
After this beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit, we now gaze on this icon, glory of Bernini, the Holy Spirit descending from eternal light. Helps us to remember that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was not meant only for the disciples and our lady gathered in the upper room 2,000 years ago. It’s a mystery that all of us partake in sharing as our Holy Father said, each in our own way, expressing the one gift of the spirit. Come, Holy Spirit, you are harmony. Come, Holy Spirit. Make us builders of unity.