Pentecost Sunday


Citations of:

Ac 2,1-11:                                

1Co 12, 12-13:                         

Jn 20,19-23:                              



The paschal journey of the disciples comes to its completion in the joyful welcoming of the gift of the Spirit. They, who has responded to Jesus’ call, who had followed him and listened to him, who had doubted and suffered when faced with his suffering and death, and who had rejoiced finally in his glorious resurrection, can now start to live the fullness of their vocation through the outpouring of the Spirit.


If Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven has marked the moment of their maturity as disciples, since the Master entrusted to them the responsibility for the mission of proclaiming the Gospel, today’s feast sees them receive the gift of God through the Spirit, so as to fulfil the mission received. The various call that each of us receives from the Lord is always proportionate to those who receive it and, above all, He who calls never fails to gives the means to respond to the call.  


“As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you”: this is the mandate that Jesus has entrusted to disciples of every nation and of all time, by virtue of the gift of the Spirit. But, we ask: what does it mean to say we are sent. The words of Pope Francis help us to provide an answer: “The mission of the Church is to evangelise and to forgive sins” (General Audience, 13 November 2013). In this we are accompanied by the Spirit, and for it we need the His gifts.


To evangelise is to give a form to the Gospel by our lives, to announce by our action, with our choices and our behaviour that Jesus is risen and that the doors of Heaven are open. To feel called anew to an ordinary life of witness, in which each one can play their part, it is enough to mind the invitation of St. Francis to his friars, “Be always preaching the Gospel, and if necessary use words”. The gift of the Spirit is given to everyone, because each person can play his part according to his charisms, state of life and vocation. The only vocation that the Lord does not send our way is to be a “spectator of life”. The people of God is called and involved as a whole, and no one is left aside.


Being pardoned of sin is a tangible sign for everyone of the love and the mercy of God, so much so that it is fundamental that this “fount” of goodness be always available to God’s people. This comes about in two ways and in two distinct moments of life: there is a first remission of sins, because “the Sacrament of Baptism all sins are remitted, original sin and all of our personal sins, as well as the suffering of sin”. However, “this saving intervention does not take away our human nature and its weakness — we are all weak and we are all sinners — and it does not take from us our responsibility to ask for forgiveness every time we err! I cannot be baptized many times, but I can go to Confession and by doing so renew the grace of Baptism. It is as though I were being baptized for a second time. The Lord Jesus is very very good and never tires of forgiving us” (Pope Francis, General Audience, 13 November 2013).


The journey of God’s people is sustained by the Spirit and His gifts, for the proclamation of the Gospel to all peoples through a life lived in a Christian manner, with charity, perseverance, courage and “creative fidelity” to the Word and the Tradition. It is a journey that is not without its falls, but the love of God and his mercy are always greater and more superabundant than any of our failings. Neither is just a washing of our face to wipe out what has happened and its consequences. Instead, it is a gift of love that allows us to start ever anew and to live in joy.