The Universal Church celebrated Pentecost Sunday on 8 June 2014.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the Vigil of the Solemnity are shown in previous page unless otherwise stated:
First Reading: Genesis 11:1-9 or Exodus 19:3-8, 16-20† or
Responsorial: Psalm 104:1-2, 24, 27-30, 35 (Encouragements-79),
Second Reading: Romans 8:22-27 &
Gospel Reading: John 7: 37-39.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the Feast Day are shown in Encouragements-243 unless otherwise stated:
First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11,
Responsorial: Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29-31, 34† R cf. v.30
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 3-7, 12-13,
Sequence: see previous page &
Gospel Reading: John 20-19-23.
We have extracted the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
St. Peter's Square
1. "Open the door to Christ your Saviour": this invitation, which echoed loud and clear for three years in preparation for the Great Jubilee, has characterized our City Mission.
Let us thank God for this extraordinary event, which has been an act of love for the city and for each of its residents. In the Christian communities the City Mission has encouraged a journey of intense spirituality, nourished by prayer and by listening to the Word of God. It has also fostered the growth of that ecclesial communion which the Roman Synod indicated as an indispensable condition of the new evangelization.
The entire diocesan community, in its various ministries, vocations and charisms, has joined forces to make its own contribution of prayer, proclamation, witness and service. Together we have shared the experience of being the "People of God on mission".
I feel it my duty to thank those who in various ways took part in this important pastoral programme. First of all, His Eminence the Cardinal Vicar, who has zealously guided the Mission in close collaboration with the Auxiliary Bishops, whom I cordially greet. Here I would like to mention the other prelates who offered their appreciated cooperation, including the late Bishop Clemente Riva.
My thoughts turn gratefully to you, dear missionaries, priests, religious and especially lay people, who have been the first to benefit from the grace of the Mission. Your generous efforts in preparing yourselves and in bringing the Gospel to homes and to the other areas of the city have opened new ways of evangelization and Christian presence in the daily texture of our people's lives. The Holy Spirit has guided you step by step, inspired you with the right words for proclaiming Christ and supported you in the inevitable moments of difficulty.
Let us thank the Lord for all he has done, showing in every situation the signs of his mercy and love. The Great Jubilee, now close at hand, spurs us to continue this missionary effort with the same enthusiasm, so that the results achieved by the Mission can be consolidated and extended. In this way we will be able to show the face of our open and welcoming Church, renewed in faith and rich in works of charity, to the many pilgrims who will come to Rome next year.
2. For this to happen, our missionary work, so well begun, must be consolidated and developed. The individuals and families we have already visited in their homes and workplaces must be given ongoing support, and we must reach out to those who for various reasons could not be contacted in these years.
May the annual visit to families and the centres for listening to the Gospel, which must become more widespread, thus be the soul of parish ministry, thanks to the collaboration of ecclesial associations, movements and groups. May the celebration of the Word of God enhance the faith journey of parish communities, especially during the principal seasons of the liturgical year. May the sign of charity towards the poor and suffering accompany the proclamation of the Lord, showing his living presence through the daily witness of fraternal love.
We must strengthen communion among Christians who are involved in the fields of work and study, of care-giving and entertainment, where the Gospel has been preached in a practical way. The seed of Gospel newness, sown by the Mission, must grow and bear fruit everywhere, even where it has not been possible yet to organize suitable missionary programmes. For this reason our witness is more urgent than ever. No situation, in fact, is impervious to the Gospel; on the contrary, the risen Christ is already mysteriously present there through his Holy Spirit.
3. Such an extensive missionary outreach calls for a programme of formation and catechesis directed to all the People of God, to make them more vividly aware of their missionary vocation and to prepare them to give an account of their faith in Christ always and everywhere.
It is the task of parishes, religious communities, associations, movements and groups to provide this formation by offering journeys of faith, prayer and Christian experience filled with theological, spiritual and cultural substance.
Dear priests, this task is entrusted first of all to you: be wise leaders and diligent teachers of faith in your communities.
Dear men and women religious, you have contributed so much to the Mission: continue to support it with your prayer, your holiness of life and your own charisms in the varied apostolic fields in which you are involved.
Dear lay people, you are called to undertake a great, permanent missionary movement in the city and in every area of its life. In families, in the vast, complex world of work and culture, in the schools and universities, in health care, the mass media and leisure activities, do not fail to make your contribution so that the Gospel message can have an impact on all society.
And could we forget the contribution to the City Mission that the sick have made and are called to renew by the offering of their own suffering, and cloistered religious by their constant prayer?
My gratitude goes to each and every one for their very useful spiritual help.
4. As we look at these three years of the City Mission, it is easy to see that the Word of God has been widely sown. If this divine seed is not to be wasted but is to sink deep roots and bear fruit in daily life and pastoral ministry, a specific reflection must be fostered which will involve all sectors of the Church and result in a special convention. I am thinking of a great meeting which will serve to trace out, on the basis of the City Mission experience, the broad outline of a permanent commitment to evangelization and missionary activity.
To be the Church on mission: this is the great challenge in the years ahead for Rome and for the whole world. I entrust this task to you, dear priests, religious, lay people and, in a special way, to you, the movements and new communities, as I recall the meeting we had a year ago, on the Vigil of Pentecost, in this square. We must docilely open ourselves to the Spirit's action, accepting with gratitude and obedience the gifts he continually bestows for the benefit of the entire Church. This evening Christ says again to each of you: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15).
Dear friends, the Gospel that Christ has entrusted to us is the Gospel of peace! How could we keep it just for ourselves, especially at a time when oppression and warfare are sowing destruction and death in the neighbouring region of the Balkans? The Spirit prompts us to proclaim and work for peace in justice and reconciliation. With this in mind, I would like the Church in Rome to raise a unanimous prayer for peace on the forthcoming feast of Corpus Christi. Therefore, I invite you all - clergy, religious and faithful - to join me on Thursday evening, 3 June, at St John Lateran to participate in the Mass and procession for Corpus Christi, in which we will together implore the gift of peace in the Balkans. May the feast of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ be marked this year by intense prayer for peace.
5. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Come, Holy Spirit! The invocation which echoes in the liturgy of this Pentecost Vigil fills us with joy and hope.
Holy Spirit, author and soul of the Mission, raise up in the Church of Rome many missionaries among young people, adults and families, and instil in all of them the inextinguishable fire of your love.
Spirit, "Light of hearts", point out the new ways for the City and Universal Mission in the third millennium which is about to begin. You, "of comforters the best", sustain the discouraged, confirm the enthusiasm of those who have experienced the joy of evangelization, strengthen in all the faithful the desire and courage to be a Gospel missionary each day where they live and work.
You, "the soul's most welcome guest", open the hearts of every person, family, religious and parish community, so that they will generously welcome poor pilgrims who will be participating in the Jubilee events. This will really be one of the most beautiful fruits of the City Mission: the concrete expression of that Roman charity, the fruit of faith, which has always accompanied the celebration of Holy Years.
Mary Most Holy, since Pentecost you have kept watch with the Church as she prays for the Holy Spirit: remain with us at the centre of our extraordinary Upper Room. To you, whom we venerate as Our Lady of Divine Love, we entrust the fruits of the City Mission, so that through your intercession the Diocese of Rome may offer the world a convinced witness to Christ our Saviour.
JOHN PAUL II
Solemnity of Pentecost
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. The Solemnity of Pentecost lets us relive the Apostles' extraordinary experience 50 days after Christ's Resurrection. The Easter season ends with Pentecost and this conclusion consists precisely in the gift of the Holy Spirit as Christ had promised.
Today we contemplate the transformation of the Lord's disciples from still fearful followers into courageous witnesses who bravely proclaim the Good News to all peoples. Gathered in unanimous prayer in the Upper Room, with Mary, they were sent by the Spirit of truth to make the whole world an Upper Room of love and unity. Both dimensions - prayer and apostolate, communion and mission - are indispensable for the life of the Church in every time and place.
2. Last night here in St Peter's Square we prepared for this great feast with a solemn vigil that marked the conclusion of Rome's City Mission. What an extraordinary spiritual experience! It calls to mind the great meeting last year with the ecclesial movements and new communities, which are truly the Spirit's gift to the Church at the end of the millennium, and one of the new signs which came from the Second Vatican Council. Last year's meeting has yielded great fruits. Indeed, there has been a growing number of initiatives aimed at fostering a sense of communion in the movements and communities, in order to increase their collaboration with one another and with the local Churches and parishes.
Let us thank the Lord for this promising and hope-filled springtime for the Church. I am sure that the next meeting, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity on the theme: "Ecclesial movements and new communities in the pastoral concern of Bishops", will help its further growth.
The secularized world challenges every Christian to strengthen his own missionary enthusiasm by basing it on a radical experience of faith in Christ, an experience consisting of prayer, unity and proclamation.
3. Together let us call upon the Holy Spirit to make Rome's City Mission fruitful and to fulfil the expectations of the whole Church.
Missionary commitment has no time limits and involves every member of the Christian community. Today, as in the beginning, the Church knows that, if she is to meet the challenges of the new evangelization, she needs to pause in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother. Let us ask the Blessed Virgin to pray with us and for us to the heavenly Father, so that he will pour out the Holy Spirit on all believers and renew the marvels of Pentecost.
After leading the recitation of the Regina Caeli, the Holy Father said:
I extend a cordial greeting to the pilgrims present, especially those taking part in the demonstration called "With Padre Pio along the Ways of the Jubilee" organized by The Relay for Peace Association. I greet the runners from various cities and the mayors who have attended. Bl. Padre Pio was an authentic athlete of peace, tempered by prayer and penance and animated by the Holy Spirit. May his example and intercession be an incentive and comfort for all.
Our thoughts keep returning to the day of his beatification, which was held on the first Sunday of May here in St Peter's Square.
After greeting the Polish pilgrims the Pope said:
I wish everyone a happy Pentecost Sunday and a good week.
CANONIZATION OF 5 BLESSEDS
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II
Solemnity of Pentecost
1. "We hear them announcing in our own tongues the mighty works of God" (Acts 2:11).
On the day of Pentecost, this is what the crowd of pilgrims "from every nation under heaven" exclaimed when they listened to the preaching of the Apostles.
On this day of Pentecost, we are filled with the same wonder, while we contemplate the great miracles worked by God in the lives of the five new saints raised to the glory of the altars: Alphonsus of Orozco, a priest of the Order of St Augustine; Ignatius of SanthiŠ, a priest of the Order of the Capuchin Franciscans; Umile of Bisignano, a religious of the Order of Friars Minor; Pauline of the Suffering Heart of Jesus, virgin foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Immaculate Conception; Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello, religious, foundress of the Congregation of the Benedictine Sisters of Providence.
They travelled the highways of the world announcing and witnessing to Christ with their words and their lives. This is why they have become an eloquent sign of the perennial Pentecost of the Church.
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15 June 2014