VIDEO MESSAGE FROM HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
ON THE OCCASION OF THE PENTECOST ECUMENICAL VIGIL
ORGANIZED BY CHARIS AT THE
CHRIST CHURCH ANGLICAN CHURCH IN JERUSALEM
Although this recording is made in Rome, it will be made public from the Anglican Church of Christ, the Christ Church, in Jerusalem, where believers of different Christian traditions are gathered.
I want to thank this Anglican church for their hospitality, thank the people who have made this broadcast possible and, first of all, thank my brother and friend the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who has shared with us a precious reflection on the Holy Spirit .
I also thank CHARIS, for having listened to me and made the mission that I entrusted to them a reality in this Vigil of working for Christian unity. They have organized this Christian vigil through the Commission that they formed for this purpose, a commission made up of five Catholics and five members of different churches and Christian communities. Thanks.
This is a very special night, I want to share with you what is in my heart, thinking of Jerusalem, the holy city for the children of Abraham. I think of the room above, the upper room , where the one sent by the Father, the Holy Spirit that Jesus promises after his resurrection, descends with power on Mary and the disciples, forever transforming their lives and all of history.
I think of the Church of Santiago, the mother church, the first, the Church of the believers in Jesus, the Messiah, all of them Jews. The Church of Santiago, which never disappeared from history, is alive today. I think about the next morning. They resided in Jerusalem, the Acts of the Apostles tell us, pious Jews from all the nations under heaven, who, filled with amazement, listened to these Galileans speak in their own languages (cf. Acts 2,7-8).
And later the story describes the community of believers in Jesus: "no one was in need because they had everything in common." And the people said of them: Look how they love each other. Brotherly love identifies them, and the presence of the Spirit makes them understandable. Tonight resonates in me more than ever the "look how they love each other"
Can the world today say of Christians, of them: "look at how they love each other" or can they truly say, "look at how they hate each other" or "look at how they fight"? What happened to us? We have sinned against God and against our brothers. We are divided, we have broken into a thousand pieces what God has done with so much love, compassion and tenderness. Everyone, everyone, we need to ask forgiveness, to the Father of all, and we also need to forgive ourselves.
If the unity of Christians in mutual love has always been necessary, today it is more urgent than ever. Let's look at the world: the plague, the effect not only of a virus but of selfishness and greed that make the poor poorer and the rich richer. Nature is reaching the limit of its possibilities due to the predatory action of man. Yes, the man whom God entrusted to take care of and make the earth bear fruit.
Brothers and sisters, tonight can be a prophecy, it can be the beginning of the testimony that we Christians, together, have to give to the world: to be witnesses of the love of God that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who it has been given to us. The love to which we believers in Jesus have been called. Because tonight thousands of Christians raise together, from the corners of the earth, the same prayer: Come, Holy Spirit! Come, Spirit of love and change the face of the earth and change my heart!
Tonight, I urge you to look out into the world and make the testimony of the first Christian community come true: "look at how they love each other." Go out together to infect the world! Let us allow ourselves to be changed by the Holy Spirit in order to change the world. God is faithful, he never withdraws his promises, and for this reason, because God is faithful, I want to remember today, from Jerusalem, that prophecy of the great prophet of Israel: «It will happen in future days, the mountain of the House of the Lord will be established on top of the mountains, it will rise above the hills. All nations will converge in him, numerous peoples will come. They will say: "Come, let us go up to the Mount of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, so that he may teach us his ways and we may follow his paths." For the law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge among the nations, he will judge numerous peoples, they will forge hoes with their swords, and with their pruning spears. Nation will not lift the sword against nation nor will they exercise more in war ( Is 2,2-4). So be it.