The inner and outer mission

The Solemnity of Pentecost

Mosaic in the crypt of the Dormitio Basilica on Mt. Zion

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Acts 2, 2-11

When Pentecost day came round, they had all met together, when suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a violent wind which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and there appeared to them tongues as of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak different languages as the Spirit gave them power to express themselves. Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, and each one was bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely,’ they said, ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; residents of Rome- Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs, we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’

After the Pentecost meditations, which were intended to bring us closer to the fruits of the Holy Spirit in particular, we hear today how the Spirit of God descends upon the apostles and they begin to proclaim God’s great deeds.

This is precisely what the Holy Spirit wants, because he is the witness who reminds us of all that Jesus said and did (cf. Jn 14,26) and makes us present what the Lord does for people! The special thing about this event for the people was that the apostles proclaimed these deeds in their own language and other people understood them in spite that they had another language.

The Holy Spirit, is not only the tender presence of God in us who transforms us step by step to the image of God and leads us on the way of holiness, but he is also the one who moves the apostles and leads them safely to carry out their mission, giving them the strength to defy resistance, to take upon themselves the efforts of evangelization and to give them everything they need to carry out their mission.

The sign that people hear the acts of God in their own language is a prophetic foresight of what is now happening through the Church, carrying the Gospel to all peoples.

As members of this church – as the body of the Lord – we are called to proclaim also the great works of God, to serve mission with and in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The inner mission consists in the transformation of man, the reality of which becomes visible in the fruits of the Spirit, as we have heard in the last meditations. From this transformation the testimony of our life arises. The inner beauty of these fruits gives a message to the other person, attracts him, and we are then able to bear witness with words. The testimony is also present in good deeds, in the exercise of spiritual and bodily works of mercy, especially in prayer for others.

But the Holy Spirit also wants the proclamation of the word, because “how can they believe in him if they have never heard of him? And how will they hear of him unless there is a preacher for them?” (Rom 10,14) The Holy Spirit leads those whom he calls to the outward mission, which is precisely to bear witness to the great works of God in all possible ways. And this is logical because otherwise there is always the danger that we do not see the good in the right light and primarily attribute something to man. But the truth is that this only can only have grown in him through the impulse of God! If we do not underline this it is as if we would only look to the gift and not thinking of the giver of the gifts!

But if we do not ascribe the essentially good to God, then we do not get to know him deeper, and so people are also deprived of the true testimony of life. A mission we carry out in the name of God is in all and everything for the honor of God and all our participation is an immense honor for us to serve our loving Father!