MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCASTED LIVEFROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"The Holy Spirit, master of harmony"
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
In this time there is a lot of silence. Also, silence can be heard. That this silence, which is a bit new in our habits, teaches us to listen, makes us grow in listening skills. Let's pray for this.
"To be born from above" ( Jn 3 : 7) is to be born with the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot take the Holy Spirit for us; only, we can let Him transform us. And our docility opens the door to the Holy Spirit: it is He who makes the change, the transformation, this rebirth from above. It is Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1 : 8). The Holy Spirit is capable of doing wonders, things that we cannot even think of.
An example is this first Christian community, which is not a fantasy, what they tell us here: it is a model, where one can arrive when there is docility and let the Holy Spirit enter and transform us. A community - so to speak - "ideal". It is true that problems will begin immediately after this, but the Lord shows us how far we could go if we are open to the Holy Spirit, if we are docile. This is the harmony of the community (cf. Acts4.32 to 37). The Holy Spirit is the master of harmony, he is capable of producing it and he made it here. He must do it in our heart, he must change many things about us, but make harmony: because he himself is harmony. Even the harmony between the Father and the Son: it is the love of harmony, He. And He, with harmony, creates these things like this community so harmonious. But then, history tells us - the same Book of Acts of the Apostles - of many problems in the community. This is a model: the Lord has allowed this model of an almost "heavenly" community, to show us where we should go.
But then the divisions began, in the community. In the second chapter of his Letter, the apostle James says: "May your faith" be immune to personal favoritism "" ( Jas 2: 1): because there were! "Do not discriminate": the apostles must come out to admonish. And Paul, in the first Letter to the Corinthians, in chapter 11, complains: "I have heard that there are divisions among you" (cf. 1 Cor 11:18): the internal divisions in the communities begin. We must reach this "ideal", but it is not easy: there are many things that divide a community, be it a Christian parish or diocesan or presbyteral community or religious or religious ... many things come in to divide the community.
Seeing what are the things that divided the first Christian communities, I find three: first, the money. When the apostle James says this, that he has no personal favoritism, he gives an example because "if in your church, one with the golden ring enters your assembly, you immediately carry it on, and the poor leave him aside" (cf Jas 2.2). Money. Paul himself says the same: "The rich bring food and eat, they, and the poor, standing" (cf. 1 Cor 11 : 20-22), we leave them there as if to say to them: «Arrange as you can» ». Money divides, love of money divides the community, divides the Church.
Many times, in the history of the Church, where there are doctrinal deviations - not always, however many times - there is money behind it: the money of power, both political power and cash, but it is money. Money divides the community. For this reason, poverty is the mother of the community, poverty is the wall that protects the community. Money divides, personal interest. Even in families: how many families ended up divided by inheritance? How many families? And they never talked again ... How many families ... A legacy ... They divide: money divides.
Another thing that divides a community is vanity, that desire to feel better than others. "Thank you, Lord, because I am not like the others" (cf. Lk 18:11), the Pharisee's prayer. Vanity, feeling that ... And also vanity in showing me, vanity in habits, in dressing: how many times - not always but how many times - the celebration of a sacrament is an example of vanity, who goes with the best clothes, who does that and the other ... Vanity ... for the biggest party ... Vanity also enters there. And vanity divides. Because vanity leads you to be a peacock and where there is a peacock, there is always division.
A third thing that divides a community is chatter: it's not the first time I've said it, but it's reality. It is reality. That thing that the devil puts in us, like a need to talk about others. "But what a good person that is ..." - "Yes, yes, but nevertheless ...": immediately the "but": that is a stone to disqualify the other and immediately something that I heard I say and so the other down a little.
But the Spirit always comes with his strength to save us from this worldliness of money, vanity and chatter, because the Spirit is not the world: it is against the world. He is capable of doing these miracles, these great things.
We ask the Lord for this docility to the Spirit so that He transforms us and transforms our communities, our parochial, diocesan, religious communities: you transform them, to always go forward in the harmony that Jesus wants for the Christian community.
Prayer to make spiritual communion:
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As already come, I embrace you and I join everything with you. Don't let it ever separate me from you.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Translation from Italian