Pope Francis’s message contrasted God “infecting” the world with life at Pentecost with the “deadly virus” that has ravaged the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He notes that on the day of Pentecost, people who spoke different languages assembled and encountered each other. But in these past months, we have been required to keep our distance from one another. Still, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, assures us of God’s closeness and gives us the consolation that brings strength even amid suffering.
The Pope also expressed the desire that Christians may be more deeply united as “witnesses of mercy” for the human family in a world experiencing a “famine of hope.” He prayed that, through the Holy Spirit who bestows wisdom and good counsel, those charged with making decisions may be inspired to “defend human life and the dignity of work.”
Pope Francis warns that we have been “isolated and anaesthetized before the cry of the poor and the devastation of our planet.” He prays that, like the people who repented after Peter, prompted by the Spirit, spoke to them on the day of Pentecost, we too may see the need to “turn back to God and our neighbour”.
“We need to be united in facing all these pandemics that are spreading,” said the Pope. “Not only that of the virus, but also those of hunger, war, contempt for life, and indifference to others.”