“Bringing Christ’s Fire and Joy to Every Heart,” Avvenire, Italy (May 18, 2013)
This year the solemnity of Pentecost is celebrated in the month of May, which is also the month of our Lady. Mary teaches us to welcome the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. As Pope Francis reminded us in his last general audience, we need to look at Mary and "relive her 'yes,' her complete availability to receive the Son of God in her life, who from that moment transformed it."
Recently, we have had so many reasons to praise God for the action of the Holy Spirit: the election of Pope Francis has produced in many people the desire to draw near once again to the faith and to the sacrament of Penance. The power of the Holy Spirit is urging Christians to undertake a true “transformation” in order to spread the Gospel throughout the whole world.
Now as well—and this will always be true—the Church moves forward under the impulse of the Spirit. All the ecclesiastical organizations, both those that are diverse manifestations of the Church’s hierarchical structure (for example, the dioceses and apostolic vicariates, the ordinariates, the territorial and personal prelatures) as well as others that arise in the context of its members’ right to form associations (for example, the movements or communities) are inspired by the same Holy Spirit in the life of the Church.
A specific sign of this action of the Paraclete is the meeting of ecclesial movements and lay associations that is being held on Saturday and Sunday in Rome. This encounter is the culmination of a pilgrimage organized on the occasion of the Year of Faith convoked by the beloved Benedict XVI, who taught us to strive to lovingly understand the mystery of Christian life. This encounter will be a sign of the Church’s vitality. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the Church constantly gives birth to new forms and languages in order to reach all men and women, to bring Christ’s fire and joy to every heart.
The Prelature of Opus Dei, by its nature, will not take part as such in this pilgrimage of movements. But thanks to the ecclesial communion, we will all be present with our prayer and affection. The Prelature’s faithful, along with so many other Catholics, will live Pentecost closely united to Pope Francis and the representatives of these groups. Moreover, many will also join with relatives and friends in the celebrations taking place in St. Peter’s square.
My ardent wish is that the hope St. Josemaria, founder of Opus Dei, expresses in these words may reach the hearts of many people: “I want all of us within the Holy Church to feel that we are members of the same body, as the Apostle asks of us. I want us to be vividly and profoundly aware, without any lack of interest, of the joys, the troubles, the progress of our Mother . . . I want us to live as one, each of us identified with the cares of the others, and all identified with Christ” (The Forge, no. 630). This is what Pope Francis is calling us to strive for, with his smile, with his heart as a shepherd concerned for all men and women.
Pentecost speaks to us of many languages, expansion, getting out of ourselves. But it also urges us to seek a true unity of hearts, expressed in deeds, among all the sons and daughters of the Church. A unity that is a sign of hope.
+ Javier Echevarría
Prelate of Opus Dei