VATICAN CITY — As he looked ahead to Pentecost, Pope Francis spoke about the Holy Spirit’s role in guiding Christians to know Jesus, who is the Truth, in an age of relativism.
“We live in an age rather skeptical of truth,” the Pope said on May 15, as he encouraged Christians to let themselves “be imbued with the light of the Holy Spirit, so that he introduces us to the truth of God.”
But “you cannot grab the truth as if it were an object; you encounter it. It is not a possession; [it] is an encounter with a person,” Pope Francis noted as he recalled Pontius Pilate posing the question “What is truth?” to Jesus.
The Holy Father made his remarks in the context of an ongoing series of reflections on the Creed that he has been offering each Wednesday, as well as the feast of Pentecost, which will be celebrated this coming Sunday.
For those reasons, he focused on the role of the Holy Spirit in leading believers to the Truth.
“First of all, he reminds and imprints on the hearts of believers the words that Jesus said, and, precisely through these words, God’s law — as the prophets of the Old Testament had announced — is inscribed in our hearts and becomes within us a principle of evaluation in our choices and of guidance in our daily actions; it becomes a principle of life,” the Pope said.
The second way that the Holy Spirit leads us, the Pope added, is by guiding “us ‘into’ the Truth, that is, he helps us enter into a deeper communion with Jesus himself, gifting us the knowledge of the things of God.”
“We cannot achieve this on our own strength. If God does not enlighten us interiorly, our being Christians will be superficial,” Pope Francis stated.
The general audience featured more off-the-cuff remarks from the Pope than previous meetings have, and today he encouraged people to be more open to the Holy Spirit.
“This is a prayer we need to pray every day, every day: Holy Spirit, may my heart be open to the word of God; may my heart be open to good; may my heart be open to the beauty of God, every day,” he said.
“Will you do it?” he asked the crowd packed into St. Peter’s Square. The pilgrims responded “Yes,” but Pope Francis was not satisfied, so he replied, “I can’t hear you!” He was rewarded with a much louder and enthusiastic, “Yes!”
Pope Francis also held up Mary as an example and “her ‘Yes,’ her total availability to receive the Son of God in her life — and who from that moment was transformed.”
“Do we live in God and of God? Is our life really animated by God? How many things do I put before God?” he asked the faithful.
Living this way means not being “a ‘part-time’ Christian, at certain moments, in certain circumstances, in certain choices,” he said.
The Pope closed his address by asking Catholics to look at how they have spent the Year of Faith so far.
Have we “actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching the sacraments”?
He added, “But, at the same time, let us ask ourselves what steps we are taking so that the faith directs our whole existence.”