ROME — Christians are called to witness to the Holy Spirit who can renew and heal a world suffering in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis said.
In a May 30 video message to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service, also known as “Charis,” the pope said the world “needs our witness to the Gospel, the Gospel of Jesus.”
“Today the world suffers, it is wounded,” he said. “We live in a very wounded world, which suffers especially in the poorest who are discarded; when all our human securities have disappeared, the world needs us to give it Jesus.”
The pope’s message was broadcast during the movement’s worldwide Pentecost vigil, celebrated online due to restrictive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Much like with the apostles, the Holy Spirit not only comes to heal one’s fears and insecurities, the Spirit also comes “to heal our wounds, the wounds we inflict on one another, and he comes to make us” courageous, missionary disciples, the pope said.
Reflecting on the current pandemic, Pope Francis said it has changed the world and “we will no longer be able to do what we have been doing and how we have been doing it.”
The suffering endured in this time, he added, “will have been useless if we do not build together a more just, more equitable, more Christian society, not in name, but in reality; a reality that leads us to a Christian behavior.”
“If we do not work to end the pandemic of poverty in the world — the pandemic of poverty in each of our own countries — in the cities where each of us lives, this time will have been in vain,” the pope said.
Warning that the world can either come out “better or worse” from the pandemic, Pope Francis encouraged Catholic charismatics to continue to open their hearts to the Holy Spirit and be faithful to his call so that a more just world may emerge.
“To all of you at this vigil, I wish you the consolation of the Holy Spirit and the strength of the Holy Spirit to come out of this moment of pain, sadness and trial that is the pandemic — to come out better,” the pope said.