Pope's Address on Pentecost
"God's Plan Is Fulfilled … the Church Is Born"
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 30, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address John Paul II delivered today before praying the midday Regina Caeli.
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1. Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of Pentecost, which reminds us of the marvelous effusion of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the apostles in the Cenacle.
Fifty days after Easter what Christ promised to the disciples was fulfilled, namely, that they would receive a baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts of the Apostles 1:5) and that they would be clothed with power from on high (see Luke 24:49) to have the strength to proclaim the Gospel to all nations. Animated by the fire of the Spirit, the apostles left the Cenacle and began to speak of Christ, dead and risen, to the faithful who had come to Jerusalem from all parts, and each one heard them speaking in his maternal language.
2. God's plan, revealed to Abraham, to give life to a new people, is fulfilled in Pentecost. The Church is born, Mystical Body of Christ spread throughout the world. It is made up of men and women of all races and cultures, united in faith and love of the Most Holy Trinity, to be a sign and instrument of the unity of the whole of humankind (see the Second Vatican Council constitution "Lumen Gentium," No. 1).
Conformed by the Spirit in Christ, new man, believers become his witnesses, sowers of hope, agents of mercy and peace.
3. We now turn to Mary Most Holy, whom we contemplate in the Cenacle while she receives with the apostles and disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let us invoke her maternal intercession with confidence, so that the wonders of Pentecost will be renewed in the Church and all men will be able to receive the joyful proclamation of salvation.
[Translation by ZENIT]