Pentecost is the feast of the Church that goes out. At noon, from the window of the studio in the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis recited the Marian prayer, the Regina Coeli, on the solemnity of Pentecost. Francis stated that this celebration makes us recall the beginnings of the Church, which we read about in the Acts of the Apostles, which tells us that fifty days after Easter, in the house where Jesus’ disciples found themselves, a “a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house (…) and all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”
The Pope explained that thanks to this outpouring, the disciples were completely transformed, as fear gave way to courage, their “imperviousness gives way to the proclamation, and all doubt is driven away by faith filled with love.” It is the “baptism” of the Church, said the Holy Father, which thus started its journey through history, guided by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Text of Pope Francis’ meditation before praying the Regina Coeli on the Solemnity of Pentecost:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning,
The feast of Pentecost makes us relive the Church’s beginnings. The Book of the Acts of the Apostles tells that, 50 days after Easter, in the house where Jesus’ disciples were, “suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house…. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (2:2-4). The disciples are completely transformed by this outpouring: fear is supplanted by courage, imperviousness gives way to the proclamation, and all doubt is driven away by faith filled with love. It is the “baptism” of the Church, which thus began her journey in history, guided by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This event, which changes the heart and life of the Apostles and the other disciples, is immediately felt outside the Upper Room. Indeed, that door kept locked for 50 days is finally thrust open and the first Christian Community, no longer closed in upon itself, begins speaking to crowds of different origins about the mighty works that God has done (cf. v. 11), that is to say, of the Resurrection of Jesus who was crucified. Each one present hears his own language being spoken by the disciples. The gift of the Holy Spirit restores the linguistic harmony that was lost in Babel, prefiguring the universal mission of the Apostles. The Church is not born isolated, she is born universal, one, and Catholic, with a precise identity, open to all, not closed, an identity which embraces the entire world, excluding no one. Mother Church closes her door in the face of no one, no one! Not even to the greatest sinner, to no one! This is through the power, through the grace of the Holy Spirit. Mother Church opens, opens wide her doors to everyone because she is mother.
The Holy Spirit at Pentecost pours into the hearts of the disciples and begins a new season: the season of testimony and fraternity. It is a season which comes from above, comes from God, like the tongues of fire that rest on the head of each disciple. It was the flame of love which burns all harshness; it was the tongue of the Gospel which surpasses manmade borders and reaches the hearts of the multitudes, without distinction of language, race or nationality. As on that day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit is poured out constantly even today on the Church and on each one of us so we may step outside of our mediocrity and our imperviousness and communicate to the entire world the merciful love of the Lord. Communicating the merciful love of the Lord: this is our mission! We too have been given the gift of the “tongue” of the Gospel and the “fire” of the Holy Spirit, so that while we proclaim Jesus risen, living and present in our midst, we may warm our heart and also the heart of the peoples drawing near to Him, the way, truth and life.
Let us entrust ourselves to the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy, who was present as Mother in the midst of the disciples in the Upper Room: she is the mother of the Church, the mother of Jesus became mother of the Church. Let us entrust ourselves to Her that the Holy Spirit may descend in abundance upon the Church of our time, fill the hearts of all the faithful and kindle in them the fire of his love.
Translated from www.vatican.va